Robots with “soul”

I watched a video recently, it’s title is “Guy Hoffman: Robots with ‘soul'”. I really like the word “soul”, since I think only human being can have a “soul”, but how come a robot can with a “soul” in it?
“Soul” is a human made feature, it describe something with life. It has its own thought and idea, it won’t always act as you expected. A robot with “soul” is just those kinds of robots who can do what you can’t expect and interact with you.
In this video, the lecturer described several projects he made. In those projects, some robots can play an instrument with its own score, it can learn from ambiances, then creates its music which will perfectly match the whole concert. After the success, the lecturer added a “Head” and “Body” to his robot, and using some machine learning algorithms that let the robot can interact with the accompanists, like looking at each other, and nod its head following the melody. These “body languages” indeed influence the people around by proof of experiment. People feel excited working with those kinds of robots that with “soul”, and people call it “He or She” instead of “it”.

I think it is a good point of view that how to develop an algorithm for robots, give a “soul” to robot along with the beneficial functions, that will make the robot more real and more approaching to the real artificial intelligent.

[1] TED video, “Guy Hoffman: Robots with ‘soul'”,



  1. samwendrickx · March 23, 2015

    A true artificial intelligence is something I hope never to see.
    It does sound very interesting in theory. But if you think about it, making a true AI, is playing God.
    We as flawed human beings are not capable of creating something flawless. Somewhere a mistake will be made and an AI designed to help us might just conquer us.
    I would rather not end up in a Terminator movie.
    This may seem farfetched but it should at least be considered before bringing to life a sentient being with more capabilities than our own.


  2. Sam B. · March 30, 2015

    Like Sam, I would worry if we succeeded in creating a true AI. However, since I don’t think we are close to that point. I would be interested in seeing if including this “soul” part to the equation is required to bridge the “uncanny valley” that appears in many things that imitate humans. Does including deliberate flaws to the ai make it seem more realistic for all purposes? Can we mix that with perfection in other aspects of it’s being so that it could be for instance, a perfect chef who swears profusely in the kitchen?


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