Merging the Theory of Mind and AI

Original Source Here

With the rapid increase in the development of computational and deep neural networks, AI has evolved a lot in the past decade. Almost every field of life is getting involved with intelligent machines. Smart robotic systems have already covered a major portion of the automation industry.

Human-Machine Interaction

In all the industries of the modern era, the interaction of machines with humans at an intuitive level is inevitable. A lot of security systems having computer processing-based speech recognition with decision-making software are available in the market these days.

In 2013, Knox and Stone presented a case study about the implementation of a technique for learning by the human’s feedback to an interactive robot. They claimed that this is the first-ever demonstration of the ability to train different behaviors in robots while learning from the feedback generated by a human without any further guidance.

There are a lot of fields of life where human-robot interaction is involved. For example Entertainment, education, medical, and automation.


The entertainment bots are usually developed to interact with human beings at different levels. Such robots can provide entertainment by having a conversation with you. Also, they can be the source of learning for the children that is why they are also known as “toy robots”.

In 2015, an American toy manufacturing multinational company, Mattel has introduced the latest updated “Barbie Doll” with an efficient speech as well as language recognition system. The entire system is linked via the Internet to the company’s server. The purpose of designing this doll is to have a conversation with the young girls and boys in the areas of their respective interests.


In education, the use of human-robot interaction is not a new concept. In 1980, an American mathematician, Papert, used turtle robots for teaching elementary programming to children. This effort proceeded towards the best toy manufacturing company, LEGO, producing different products for children these days.

Fig: 1 LEGO Mindstorms EV-1

There are human factors’ challenges for a person teaching a robot and for a robot teaching a person. Previous experience suggests that ideally, both occur simultaneously.

To overcome this hurdle, the theory of mind must be implemented in robots. With this theory, scientists will be able to develop robots that can understand human emotions.

Recognizing others minds’ is an effortless task for humans, but not for a computer. A lot of work has been done in this field and still, a lot more is yet to be accomplished.

Fig: 2 Robotic teacher

Humanoid Robot — Kismet

Kismet” was introduced by MIT, an American Institute. It is an effective and efficient robotic system having social intelligence according to the researcher’s reports by Breazeal and Adolph.

Fig. 3 Happy Kismet

Kismet makes an appropriate gesture in return, using the computer processing technique for the face as well as the voice of another person. A piece of evidence provides the suggestion that these types of devices are effective while obtaining normal social interaction with young children as well as elders.

Artificial theory of mind — A great challenge

Artificial theory of mind can assist intelligent machines by bestowing them with some advanced skills, such as community-based intelligence for improving human-machine interaction. This theory has recently been acknowledged as one of the Grand Challenges of Science Robotics.

According to Yang:

“The three most significant challenges that stem from building robots that interact socially with people are modeling social dynamics, learning social and moral norms, and building a robotic theory of mind.”

Artificial theory of mind and big industries

Megacorporations that are eager to integrate artificial intelligence into society should pay more attention to implement the theory of mind in machines. A computer without this advanced technology can only perform superficially, as it is unable to engage humans or work, intimately.

With the help of developing this theory of mind in machines, society could get tremendous benefits. Such as, ethically efficient robots would be able to care for the sick and elderly people. They can be our companions when no other human being is around. Moreover, it will help to cultivate social, psychological, analytical, and rational approaches in children.


Trending AI/ML Article Identified & Digested via Granola by Ramsey Elbasheer; a Machine-Driven RSS Bot

%d bloggers like this: