It’s often easy to find advances in robot technology a little bit unsettling. (If not downright scary!) Practically as long as man has been making machines, we’ve been worried that they’ll evolve and one day take over everything. Of course, for this to happen, the machines would need some sort of agency, a unique brand of intelligence that motivates them to fend for themselves. They’d need self-awareness.
The idea of a self-aware robot was a pipe dream until recently, when a team of Yale computer scientists assembled a new breed of humanoid named Nico. Nico is just a few feet tall and unglamorous with all of his gears and wires hanging out. He has two arms, no legs and a set of goofy looking googly eyes attached to his head, where a Yale baseball cap is often perched. And according to his makers, Nico knows who he is.