Researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic are working on creating characters for Second Life with the reasoning abilities of a four-year-old. They currently have a character named Eddie that can reason about his own beliefs and make choices based on them. This is interesting progress in AI. Children four and under haven’t learnt to build models of other people’s behavior. So in the example in the article, a child is shown Person A placing a teddy bear in a cabinet. Person A leaves and Person B moves the bear from the cabinet to the refrigerator. Person A comes back in and the child is asked to predict where Person A will look for the bear. Because they don’t have this model yet, they will say the refrigerator. Eddie does this at first, but then learns the correct model with an additional iteration of the process.
The problem here is the venue. Second Life is a den of sexual deviants. If it’s not the furries, it’s child molesters. One disturbing phenomenon is people with child avatars who want to be molested. So, is it really wise to put a simulated child character in this world?