Over the past week, I have successfuly completed three background readings. The first reading deals with “The social function of intellect”, and it revolves around the area that animals are social beings. The reading also discusses how intellect and “social skill” must work together. This is, arguably, the most advanced type of “thought” that is possible. It is this combination that allows social primates, such as apes and humans, to calculate the consequences of their own behaviors and others’ behaviors. However, some of this is in-built knowledge. One of the biggest questions about robotics is how do you build this in-built knowledge into robots? Robots do not, yet, have some of these social interactions of necessities that are needed to gain this knowledge.
The second reading deals with the Social Exchange Theory, which is a collection of theories all believing the basic fact that, when people interact, they exchange interaction. One specific theory, propsed by John Thibaut and Harold Kelley, is the Independence Theory. The Independence Theory, in short, provides mechanisms for representing and analyzing social situations. It includes concepts such as the minimax principle, in which people seek to maximize their benefits and minimize their costs, in a social situation or especially in a dilemma. When people are put in a social situation, they will consider all possible outcome values of the situation and pick what will benefit them the most. So, once the outcome values of a stituation are known, predicting what a person will do next is almost automatic.
The last, most advanced, and probably one of the most important, readings is about “Interdependence, Interaction, and Relationships.” Relationships are very critical to survival, learning, cooperation and communication. We also discussied a little bit about how the theory of mind hlpes reason the state of the other people or person in a relationship. We just barely got into discussion of this readong. We will continue discussion on this reading next week. Also for next week, we have to review this reading, and if we have any questions, we will discuss them.