Crowdfunded project to create "world's smartest robot"

Bill Scannell says: "I have a friend of mine who's put together a project to put an AI brain into a lifelike robot, the goal being to make it as smart as a stupid three-year-old, from which point it can begin to learn on it's own and develop consciousness."

The robot is being developed by a team of roboticist rock stars, including David Hanson (who built the Philip K. Dick android head) and Mark Tilden (creator of BEAM robotics and the WowWee Robosapien robot).

Help Make Me the World's Smartest Robot


  1. First order of business is to lose the Charlie McCarthy face. It will make things a lot easier.

    1. “This highly advanced robot uses a revolutionary new source of energy: it feeds on human souls!”

  2. The Cylons were created by man. They rebelled. They “evolved.” There are many copies. And they have a plan.

  3. “as smart as a stupid three-year-old”.  Good luck with that.  In fact good luck with making it any smarter than a calculator.  It’s switches people.  There’s no actual intelligence there just because you increased the complexity exponentially.

    1. I think a three-year-old’s brain is pretty much switches. So’s your brain. I don’t see how it makes a difference whether the switches are wet and gooey or not.

      1. Three-year-olds have feelings, insight, emotion etc.  Admittedly not fully developed, these are still present and are components of intelligence that the “smartest” computers do not possess in any quantity.

        1. I completely agree with you that computers don’t possess the things you say they don’t possess. I just don’t think it’s because they are made of “switches” that they don’t have these things.

    2. Have you read The Emperor’s New Mind, by Roger Penrose? A fascinating book that supports your claim.

      1. I have not, but I’ve read ‘Are We Spiritual Machines’, which has Ray Kurzweil and his critics arguing about the reality of AI.  I came out against Kurzweil.

  4. AI has mostly been a jobs program for theorists for the last couple decades.  Like cold fusion, it’s always a good reason to trot out Zeno’s paradox about Achilles and the tortoise.

  5. Most CS and robotics is already crowdfunded, by national populations through granting agencies like the NSF.  Is the point here to avoid that pesky peer-review step, where the proposer is forced to waste time and effort in explaining how the project might work to experts in the field?

  6. I would think the real problem would be in accurately modelling all the various cells of the brain and CNS.
    Why bother designing software to emulate consciousness when you can just synthesise the vehicle that the universe spent the last 4Bn+ years assembling.

    1. Even if you could model a human brain down to the neuron it wouldn’t necessarily give you a human-like mind. A brain without the years of constant sensory input that make up human development is just a gray pile of glop.

  7. They don’t need to teach it to lie, they just need to catch it lying spontaneously. Then they will have been successful.

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