Researchers are developing a system to teach robots how to feel pain.
That might seem counterintuitive, as IEEE Spectrum points out. After all, “One of the most useful things about robots is that they don’t feel pain.” That means “we have no problem putting them to work in dangerous environments or having them perform tasks that range between slightly unpleasant and definitely fatal to a human.”
But the researchers from Leibniz University of Hanover argue that the “artificial robot nervous system” actually makes the robots safer. They say humans working alongside them — using heavy machinery, for example — are also likely to be safer. Here’s more from IEEE Spectrum:
“Why is it a good idea for robots to feel pain? The same reason why it’s a good idea for humans to feel pain, said Johannes Kuehn, one of the researchers. ‘Pain is a system that protects us,’ he told us. ‘When we evade from the source of pain, it helps us not get hurt.’ ”
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