Requirements for Artificial Companions
Producing a system that meets plausible requirements for Artificial Companions (AC’s), without arbitrary restrictions, will involve solving a great many problems that are currently beyond the state of the art in Artificial Intelligence (AI); including problems that would arise in the design of robotic Companions helping an owner by performing practical tasks in the physical environment. In other words, even if the AC is not itself a robot and interacts with the user only via input devices such as camera, microphone, keyboard, mouse, touch-pad, and touch-screen, and output devices such as screen and audio output devices, nevertheless it will, in some circumstances, need the visual competences, the ontology, the representational resources, the reasoning competences, the planning competences, and the problem-solving competences that a helpful domestic robot would need. This is because some of the intended beneficiaries of ACs will need to be given advice about what physical actions to perform, what physical devices to acquire, and how to use such devices. I shall give examples illustrating the need for such competences.