March 17, 2015
by msnathan

Robots help us learn about empathy (homework example)

d2773030-2453-4cd6-8c25-9b10e9ebc1da-620x372Why do find it hard to torture robots? Article & image via The Guardian

At the SxSW (South By Southwest) Festival in Austin, Texas there are a lot of robots this year! The one in the photo is called DAR-1 and it’s creator has it setting up in a ‘petting zoo’ where people can interact with it. It moves back if you get too close because the camera inside notices when your face looks bigger and it tells the computer to react. It also vibrates which makes it look like it’s shivering. Even thought it is just a Raspberry Pi computer and some mechanical legs, these things make people think of it like it is real and they want to protect it. The article talks about another robot that looks like a dinosaur that a researcher lets people play with. In her research she noticed that people would not hurt the robot even when she tried to trick them. I wonder what it is about our brains that makes us think things are alive when we know they’re not?

Red Hat (Feelings)

I am really excited about the new ways we’re thinking about using robots! I would love to learn more about this and definitely would love to play with one of these. It makes me feel happy and have confidence in people to know that they’re using robotics for good and that people don’t want to hurt things they think would feel it.

Yellow Hat (Positives)

– Robots are awesome!

– People are using robotics to learn more about how we think.

– People would rather not hurt things they think have feelings.

Black Hat (Negatives)

– It’s a bit sad that we’re surprised that human beings can show empathy to you non-humans.

– Up until recently robotics has been really difficult to get into because it is expensive and difficult to learn.

White Hat (Facts/Neutral)

– Robot designers have taken their robots to SxSW Festival

– Robot designers are using their robots to research human behaviour

Green Hat (Creativity/Where to next?)

I think this research will get people excited about how robots can help people. I like the line at the bottom where it talks about instead of making military robots harder to empathize with, we should use human empathy to stop things like wars. I wonder if we could use robots to help teach empathy or to help people in other ways, such as people or children who have been through trauma.

What do you think, would you like to play with a robot? Do you have any other ideas for how we could use robots? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

May 24, 2014
by msnathan

Homework Week 3-4: Due Thursday 29th, May

international-herald-tribuneImage found here.

For our homework this week we are going to analyse the news. As a critical thinker is important that we engage with the news, ask questions, look deeper, reflect on and even disagree sometimes with the news we read. That is how we can have a deeper understanding of what is going on in the world around us. This is participating and contributing and that is one of our key competencies. Remember, that even the most unbiased news article is still only one persons version of events!

1. Choose an online news article* to analyse and make sure that it either has a photo or you can find one elsewhere that relates to the story. Here are some places to look: Stuff, Scoop, NZ Herald, Dominion Post, The Guardian, The Wireless, Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls, A Mighty Girl, TIME For Kids, The Learning Network (NYT), Nick News, DOGO News.

2. Write a blog post on your blog that includes an image about your news story, a link to the original story and a brief summary of the story in your own words. You can include your ideas, thoughts and opinions in your summary.

3. In the blog post, after your summary, use the thinking hats to analyse the story. You can talk about the news event itself but you also might want to talk about how the journalist has written about the event. What messages were they trying to get across and how do you know? Do you agree or disagree with how they’ve reported it? Why?

4. Include a ‘call to action’ in your blog post either at the end, beginning or even more than once that encourages the reader to comment on your post and engage with what you’re writing. It could be a general ask for peoples thoughts or you might have something more specific in mind.

5. Comment on 5 other blog posts about the news from our class. Use the blog commenting rubric below to make sure the comments you leave are interesting, engaging and are thinking beyond just what you read.

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 11.08.12 pmImage from Mrs Bradshaws Class, click to enlarge.

*You could also chose or link to multiple articles about the same issue, if you want to show more than one point of view. You can also include more than one photo or even video in your blog post.

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