Humans and robots

Length: This lesson plan can be executed as a project, where class debates, presentations from the teacher, written work, and presentations from pupil groups are combined. In that case it would be recommended to execute it as a feature week or using every English class over the course of 2-3 weeks.

Description:

Today, robots have become part of our everyday lives.

They solve tedious tasks in the industry.

They inspect impassable terrain or vast landmasses.

They monitor our behaviour on earth.

They are also used for instance for surgery.

They help us if we need help in our everyday lives.

They solve tasks, if there has been a catastrophe.

But there are also robots designed to harm us. E.g. the military uses drones for shootdowns, and actual war robots, able to kill, are being developed.

Robots can also be humanoid, be nice and act like us.

When robots look and act like us, most people find dem cute.

Assignment 1:

Build and programme a social Fable robot with Fable Face.

Find inspiration here: 

Work sheet – social robot

Fable butler robot

A robot can become humanoid for instance by using our app Fable Face. We program it to react to different input, through sensors. But two robots can also communicate with each other. So called “chat-bots”, that have been tested by using artificial intelligence, have been asked to “talk” to each other. The success however has been limited. With time it can become harder to distinguish between a robot and a human. To determine whether it is a human or a robot, you can use the “Turing-test”.

But today it seems that more and more robots, or artificial intelligences, have cheated the test, so people believe they are talking to a human. Watch this youtube video, where Google shows, how their Google Duplex call and make an appointment at the hair salon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5VN56jQMWM 

It is interesting to think about how we will distinguish between humans and robots in the future.

Think about what it will do to us, when the robots start to become just like us, and it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish between humans and robots.

What does robots do to us?

  • What is human?
  • Ethical reflections?
  • In which areas are robots/artificial intelligence allowed to be used/take over?
  • In which areas are robots/artificial intelligence not allowed?
  • If you had to build a robot, to take over for a human, what should that robot be able to do?
    • Which qualities should it have?
    • Which sensors?
    • Which rules should it adhere to?

Robots are “present” in the room, seeing as they are physical. That is opposed to what goes on, on a computer screen:

  • What does it mean, to be present in a room? We humans use our senses to orientate ourselves, robots use sensors. If the robot’s senses are its sensors, which sensors are important, to be able to orientate itself in an environment created for humans?
  • What does it mean to be “self aware”?

Programming are humans’ way to control robots. How do robots communicate with each other?

Make 2 Fable Spin robots communicate with each other:

The Game of Love 

The uncanny valley

When humanoid robots are cute, it is because they look human, but we can still clearly see, that we are looking at robots.

A terms called “the uncanny valley” explains with the issue, when robots all of sudden look so much a like us, that we think they are human. Then, when we discover, that it is a robot, a lot of people find it creepy.

A Japanese professor called Hiroshi Ishiguro (pictured), has made an exact copy himself. He tours the world giving lectures, and sometimes it is not himself giving the lecture but the robot.

A Danish professor, Henrik Schärfe, has also had a so called “geminoid” made:

https://youtu.be/RaD-XinwTmI?t=204 

War robots 

Another terrifying example is war robots. There are countless examples of science fiction films, where robots and artificial intelligence are in danger of taking over the world and killing mankind, one way or the other. But if there will be war robots killing each other or us in the future, is still to 

be determined. But here is an are, which is being thoroughly discussed on the basis of ethics, and when it is a good idea to stop doing research in in area, just because it  could be dangerous, when you think of the catastrophic consequences it might have. Try to read this article: Scientists Warn of Dangers of Killer AI Drones in Dystopian Film and maybe also watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HipTO_7mUOw.

Discuss the pros and cons of war robots.   

Recap and finishing up

Prepare a presentation (PowerPoint or something similar), where you present your thoughts and views on the topic about humans and robots (you call the term Human Robot Interaction, HRI). Present it to the class.

Think about the following: 

  • What is a robot?
  • How do humans communicate with each other?
  • How do humans and robots communicate with each other?
  • How do robots communicate with each other?
  • What is it that makes humanoid robots cute?
  • In the future, where do you see robots having an influence on your everyday lives?
  • Which ethical dilemmas do you see in relation to robots and artificial intelligence?
  • Pick out one of the Fable exercises (or a completely different one) and show it to the class.

Notes for the teacher

This lesson plan could be taken in different directions, and could be used in different grades.

  • Lesson plan for 4th grade: facial expressions and eye contact

Subjects: English, IT and media (communication) og technological literacy.

The pupils should build and program a robot, using the Fable robot system. The should use the Fable Face aoo to work with facial expressions and eye contact. You can talk to the pupils about how they use facial expressions and eye contact, when they talk to each other, then how they think it feels making eye contact with Fable, and how they think it works communicating with Facial expressions and a robot- 

  • Lesson plan for 6th grade: Robot friend

Subjects: English, IT and media (communication) og technological literacy.

The pupils should build and program a social robot, using the Fable robot system. The pupils should work with how they can get it to interact with them (facial expressions, waving, saying hello).

You can then talk to the pupils about, how it feels to have a friend, who is a human, and then how they think it would be to have a friend, that is a robot.

  • Lesson plan for 8th-9th grade:

    Humans and robots. (HRI – Human Robot Interaction)
    Subjects: English, IT and media, ethics. Technological literacy. The lesson plan above.

Subject and grade: English and Technological literacy. 

8th – 9th grade

Length: This lesson plan can be executed as a project, where class debates, presentations from the teacher, written work, and presentations from pupil groups are combined. In that case it would be recommended to execute it as a feature week or using every English class over the course of 2-3 weeks.

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