Testimonial 135.[Boundary]Robots Will Not Become Humans – Wen Dao


MIT professor Rosalind successfully developed the world’s first medical wearable device to help marginalized patients. “As I delved deeper into how emotions work, I felt greater awe and gratitude for the way people were created. I thought I was too smart to believe in God. Now I know I was an arrogant fool who snubbed the universe the greatest wisdom of all.”

When you’re talking to a stranger, it’s hard to read what the other person is thinking. At this time, you can calmly put on a pair of “social X-ray” glasses: if the red light on the lens is on, it means that the other party does not like to talk to you; if the yellow light is on, it means that the other party has a certain interest; Communicate with you.

These “social X-ray” glasses have brought great help to people with language impairments such as autism. Its designer is Professor Rosalind from the MIT Media Lab. She is engaged in interdisciplinary research between machine learning and neuroscience in the Media Lab of MIT’s Interdisciplinary Advanced Science Laboratory. She founded the Media Lab’s Affective Computing Research Department, which is dedicated to introducing AI technology to the recognition and quantification of emotions. researching.

Her book “Affective Computing” created a new branch of computer science and artificial intelligence – “emotional computing”, which has since opened a new era of emotional AI combining emotion recognition analysis and AI technology. She herself is therefore known as the “Mother of Emotions” of AI. When many people and media focus on Rosalind’s research, her views on artificial intelligence are different.

I was a proud atheist

“Early in elementary school, I was a voracious book lover and straight-A student. I thought I was smart, and smart people don’t need religion. I declared myself an atheist and dismissed people who believed in God as no Educated people.” Rosalind admitted that she was once a “proud atheist” and that “religion is the thing of those who have no thinking, or their crutches”.

In a middle school debate, she led the evolutionist group in a debate with the creationist group. She bragged to her mother that she would “beat those stupid creationists.” She believes her team will win because it’s science. She was stunned when the class voted and awarded the creation group the victory. “I think most of them don’t understand science or are overly influenced by the most popular girl in the class – she has a swimming pool in the backyard and throws fun parties.”

At that time, Rosalind occasionally helped a young couple take care of their children in order to work and study. She likes that family very much. The husband is a doctor and the wife is very smart. One evening they invited Rosalind to church. “I was shocked that such a smart person would go to church. By Sunday morning, I told them I had a stomach ache. The next week, they invited me again, but I was hallucinating stomachaches again. The more they insisted, The harder it is for me to come up with a convincing excuse.”

Ultimately, the couple said, it’s not about going to church, it’s about what you believe. They asked her directly: “Have you read the Bible?” Rosalind thought that if she wanted to be an educated person, she needed to read this bestseller. The doctor suggested that she start with Proverbs and read a chapter every day for a month. When she first opened the Bible, she expected to find false miracles, and fictional stories.

But to Rosalind’s surprise, “Proverbs” is so full of wisdom that Rosalind has to stop while reading and thinking. Later, she quietly bought a modern translation of the Bible called “The Way” and read it through. After reading it, Rosalind was so disturbed that she began to wonder if there really was a God. “I decided to re-read the Bible from the beginning, maybe my experience is common to first-time readers. This time I’m going to take a step back and read it more carefully to better debunk it.

I also made a vow to learn more about the origins of the Bible and learn about other religions. One of my favorite Jewish teachers in high school gave a ‘genius’ class that took us through Buddhism, Hinduism, and several other faiths. I visited temples, synagogues, and mosques. Most importantly, I want to get through this ‘religious’ phase because I know I don’t want religion. Still, an internal war broke out. A part of me yearns more and more to spend time with the God of the Bible, but at the same time an exasperated voice insists that I’ll be happy again once I’m gone. “

During the reading of the Bible, there were two passages that made Rosalind particularly troublesome. One is Matthew 10:33: “Whoever denies me before men, I will also deny him before my Father in heaven.” The second is Matthew 12:30: “Do not What I unite is against me; what does not gather with me is scattered.” Rosalind was dissatisfied with these seemingly unfriendly scriptures, “I don’t want to believe in God, but I still feel a special sense of love and presence, I cannot ignore”.

Be brave enough to ask tougher questions

During her freshman year of college, Rosalind reconnected with a former friend. Not only did he get straight A’s, he was also a star on the basketball and soccer fields. He helps Rosalind with her difficult physics homework, then invites Rosalind to his church.
One Sunday, the pastor talked about the difference between believing in God and following God. “I know Jesus claimed to be the way to God, but I’ve been trying to avoid anything to do with Jesus. But when the pastor asks me, ‘Who is the Lord of your life?’ and talks about ‘When we put ourselves on that throne I was curious about what would happen on’. I am my own master, but does God really want to lead me? Yet in line with Pascal’s theory of betting, I decided to do an experiment where I believed I could gain a lot and lose rarely.”

However, just after praying “Jesus Christ, I ask you to be Lord of my life”, Rosalind’s world changed dramatically. She described the change, “It was like a flat, black-and-white world suddenly became full-color, three-dimensional. But I didn’t lose the urge to seek new knowledge, and in fact, I felt more courageous to ask questions about the subject.” Tougher questions about how the world works. I feel joy and freedom, but also a heightened sense of responsibility and challenge.”

After becoming a Christian, Rosalind received her Ph.D. from MIT in 1991, joined the institute seven years later, and received a full professorship in 2005. It was an interest in discovering how things work that led Rosalind to participate in the study of how the brain works, “where we develop new technologies for a better future: facilitating human learning, expression and abilities”.

At first, Rosalind was reluctant to think about the role of emotions in the brain’s learning, but eventually, she realized how important emotions are. “Recent discoveries in neuroscience suggest that emotion plays an important role in rational behavior such as perception, memory, language, decision-making, and other important aspects of intelligent life.”

In 2009, Rosalind co-founded Affecttiva with colleagues and became the company’s chief scientist for the next four years. The company develops emotion recognition and monitoring technologies for the perception and recognition of human emotional information and has a wide range of applications in autism, epilepsy, autonomic nervous system disorders, sleep, stress, human and machine learning, health behavior change, and human-computer interaction. application. In April 2014, Rosalind co-founded Empatica, a company that makes medical sensors that integrate these technologies, such as medical wearables.

Some of the projects Rosalind is currently working on are already having an impact on the way people are educated and learn. In addition to the ‘social x-ray’ glasses, they’ve also developed a ‘hug watch’, the first wearable device to help measure stress, seizures, activity, and sleep. It could help caregivers save the lives of people with epilepsy, or it could help disabled children judge how excited others are about people and classes based on their skin reactions. “I found myself in a unique position, developing technology to help those who are marginalized. It felt like an extremely special opportunity that was hard to deliberately create.”

Man’s greatest hope and salvation is not technology

For Rosalind, being a Christian does not contradict her being at the forefront of scientific research. She said: “As I delved into models of how emotions work, I found that I felt a greater sense of awe and gratitude for the way we were created, and therefore a greater sense of awe and gratitude for the creators who brought it all… …scientists cannot assume that nothing exists other than what they can measure.”

Rosalind did not believe that the “physical body and immaterial soul” were separate, and she believed that DNA was too complex to be produced by a “purely random process.” For her, the complexity of DNA shows that “behind us, there is a greater mind, a greater scientist, a greater engineer” and is a “mark of intervention” by the Creator.
Rosalind was one of twenty scientists interviewed by the Test of Faith Project. The project aims to show that there is no conflict between strong Christian faith and being a scientist. In Rosalind’s experience, science and faith are completely compatible and complementary, like two wings holding her up from the ground, allowing her to see more.

In science, people tend not to talk about beliefs, but about experiences, intuitions, hunches, ideas, imaginations, and hints, all of which can be inspired by scientific experiments, but our actions and decisions are never based solely on the latter or proven truth. All scientists have some kind of belief.

In a speech, Rosalind asked: “What are the hardest problems in the world? What can technology do to solve them?” Rosalind then told the story of an 8-year-old boy with autism. The parents took the boy from one school to another, from one testing center to another. He won’t control his emotions and can become aggressive when he’s hungry without knowing he needs food. The boy’s father browsed Rosalind’s website, hoping to adopt the technology they had developed. The boy was doing well academically and had a high IQ, but struggled emotionally. What would he contribute to the world if he could learn to overcome these challenges?

Rosalind hopes to help people better realize their potential through her own and her team’s research. But she also reminded: “Vaccines make our world a better place, but they also kill people. Technology can save lives, but it can’t keep us alive forever. Whether we use knowledge to make ourselves and our world better For the better? … the great dictators of history who often developed an idea for what they thought was best and used technology to control and destroy the world.”

Rosalind acknowledged that man’s greatest hope and salvation comes from the love of God. “We can experience God’s love, but to do so we must set aside our self-centered philosophy of life and know and be known through the ultimate source of all knowledge, power, mercy, goodness.”

Can robots become humans?

Rosalind was invited to speak at the Harvard Truth Forum on “Can a Robot Become a Human?” She said: “Wikipedia says a human is a bipedal mammal. I thought, is that all there is? So I typed other bipedal mammals, which is clearly not enough to describe us. There is an anteater, a giant pangolin, which is also a bipedal mammal. So this confirms my suspicion that man may include more thing.”

When it comes to whether robots can become human, Rosalind’s answer is certain: robots will not be called human. Although they recognize emotions and have various emotional responses, they do not have human self-awareness and subjective experience. She explained: “I work in a field called ‘affective computing’. Our research is at the forefront of endowing AI with emotional intelligence skills, a technology that can help people with autism or the blind recognize facial cues they wouldn’t be able to recognize. There are many other uses.

But the most controversial question is, to what extent have we given robots the ability not just to express emotions, but to have them? We’re working on a way to give machines what I call emotion mechanisms. But these don’t give a robot a feeling; they don’t provide a subjective experience of emotion. We can make a robot smile, make it look happy, make it act happy, and we can make a computer write poetry, but it doesn’t have the inner experience or self-will that we have. “

“Science can tell us that there are biomolecules in man, but it can’t tell us that’s all there is to man. When someone, even a very famous, important, and accomplished scientist, tells us that’s all there is to man, please don’t believe him, because it is not a scientific statement.”

Rosalind believes that all technology is for people, but when we do it from a higher perspective, that is, for God, our work will be more blessed. “Have you ever tried to put together some machinery? Maybe the wheel is turning, but it’s not smooth, and then you realize you’re missing a part. When you finally put it together correctly, it works fine. That’s when I What it feels like to give your life to God: I thought it was working fine before, but after it was ‘fixed’ it worked exponentially better. Not that I never had anything bad happen to me, far from it, but in all things, good and bad, I can count on God for guidance, comfort, and protection.”

At present, science and technology continue to make breakthroughs and innovations. Rosalind is willing to hand over her learning and exploration to God, and let Him continue to lead her scientific research. “I used to think I was too smart to believe in God. Now I know I was an arrogant fool who snubbed the greatest mind in the universe — the author of all science, math, art, and everything else. Today I humbly Walking, receiving the most undeserved grace.

Today, I am a professor in the field of ‘Affective Computing’, and I have some amazing colleagues who help me translate research in the lab into something different. I work closely with people whose lives are filled with medical difficulties. I don’t have enough answers to explain all their pain. But I know there is a God of unfathomable power and love who is free to enter into a relationship with anyone who confesses their sin and calls on His name. “