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The robots have been created through modelling the early attachment process that human and chimpanzee infants undergo with their caregivers when they develop a preference for a primary caregiver.
They are programmed to learn to adapt to the actions and mood of their human caregivers, and to become particularly attached to an individual who interacts with the robot in a way that is particularly suited to its personality profile and learning needs. The more they interact, and are given the appropriate feedback and level of engagement from the human caregiver, the stronger the bond developed and the amount learned.
The robots are capable of expressing anger, fear, sadness, happiness, excitement and pride and will demonstrate very visible distress if the caregiver fails to provide them comfort when confronted by a stressful situation that they cannot cope with or to interact with them when they need it.
"Plug in the numbers for current computing speeds, the current doubling time, and an estimate for the raw processing power of the human brain, and the numbers match in: 2021. In truth, I don't think in those terms. I do not "project" when the Singularity will occur. I have a "target date". I would like the Singularity to occur in 2005, which I think I would have a reasonable chance of doing via AI if someone handed me a hundred million dollars a year. The Singularity Institute would like to finish up in 2008 or so." Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
"Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will be ended." Vernor Vinge 1993