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[2016]Robots friends or foes? It depends says robot, AI experts at 17th WKF file -
Oh Jun-ho, a professor of KAIST, Dennis Hong, a professor of UCLA, and Zhang Byoung-tak, a professor of Seoul National University (from left to right)

Oh Jun-ho, a professor of KAIST, Dennis Hong, a professor of UCLA, and Zhang Byoung-tak, a professor of Seoul National University (from left to right)

Will machines be friends or foes to humans in the future? That was the question robotic and artificial intelligence engineers and researchers debated during the session of Human and Robot Coexistence at the World Knowledge Forum on Thursday. 

Dennis Hong, a professor of University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) who had swept the RoboCup championships, an annual international robotics competition, from 2011 to 2015 and one of 10 young geniuses selected by U.S. science magazine Popular Science, projected humanoid robots would be rather evolved into ones that can fill in jobs in areas that humans can not accomplish or pet-like robots. 

Hong said he is currently conducting studies on applications for humanoids in disaster recovery and management. 

With current technology, it is yet impossible to develop robots that could either coexist like fellow human friends or confront humans, said Oh Jun-ho, a professor of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) who developed Korea’s first humanoid robot Hubo. 

The stunning win by Google DeepMind`s AlphaGo, Go playing software based on deep machine learning, against the best living traditional Go player Lee Se-dol last year has spurred fears among some people that robots could excel what had been believed uniquely human realm with ability to learn and think on their own. 

People should prepare for the era where robots can coexist with people, another worldly renowned robot researcher argued. Hiroshi Ishiguro, a professor of Osaka University who has conducted researches on AI robots, said that robots are no longer simple machines providing assistance to humans in industrial fields as they are ready to jump into people’s daily lives providing comfort and companionship. The professor has been chosen as one of 100 living geniuses by Creators Synectics, a U.K.-based consulting firm.

By Won Ho-sup and Lee Gyung-jin

 

 

 

 

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