People often value their pets, livestock, plants, yachts, cars, and plants.
- Dogs are considered family members by many families.
- Cats that might contribute little more than a purr or a look are also.
- Horses and people develop a connection and the horse permits riding.
- People have favorite trees and keep flower gardens and lawns.
- Water vessels, stuffed animals, and favorite livestock are given names.
The requirement in society for an organism or inanimate object to be lovable can be quite low. The need for creating artificial pets is high for regions or housing situations were pets can't be.
What makes a dog loving and lovable? What are the actual behavioral characteristics that make it work for so many people, some of whom consider their dog a better friend than their spouse, parents, or work associates?
- Warmth to the touch (being a mammal)
- Smoothness in contour
- Aesthetic design (based mostly on millennia of breeding)
- Attentiveness (based mostly on millennia of breeding)
- Appreciative response to provision of the most basic things like trivially prepared food, a dish of water, or access to the yard to expel waste
- Learned responses to positive and negative verbal expressions and body language
- Appreciation of simple gestures, such as petting
- Barking when someone is in the yard unexpectedly
- Performance of the the most basic tasks, such as a golden retriever on a hunt or merely fetching a stick or a toy
- Perhaps attacking an attacker for some of the more fiercely bred breeds
What of these is outside the realm of existing AI technology? Perhaps only the last two items, and that limitation may be overcome within the next ten or twenty years.
Although it would be nice to have a robot that cleaned the kitchen, painted the house, drove the car, or mowed the lawn, perhaps love, even if simulated, may be less superficial and more valuable than what makes some pets, plants, water vessels, and stuffed animals so dear.
How can some artificial loving pets be designed?
Is there a good architecture or algorithm for lovable artificial pets?