- Only Human
Body and Soul
I just wrote a story about robots whose brains are based on the neural networks of real creatures (mostly cats, rats and monkeys). Researchers put these ‘brains’ in an engineered body — sometimes real, sometimes virtual — equipped with sensors for light and sound and touch. Then they let them loose into the world — sometimes real, sometimes virtual — and watch them struggle. Eventually, the robots learn things, like how to recognize objects and navigate to specific places.
These so-called ’embodied’ robots are driven not by a top-down control system, but by bottom-up feedback from their environment. This is how humans work, too. If you’re walking on the sidewalk and come across a patch of gravel, your feet