This semester, a robot named BINA48 successfully passed a class on the philosophy of love at Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU), making her the first advanced robot to complete a college course.
William Barry, associate professor of philosophy and director of the Mixed Reality Immersive Learning and Research Lab at NDNU tells Inside Higher Ed that BINA48’s accomplishment was “remarkable.”
BINA48 was developed by Hanson Robots and released in 2010. She is a humanoid robot, consisting of a bust-like head and shoulders mounted on a frame. His appearance, memories, feelings and beliefs are modeled on those of Bina Aspen, a human, who is married to technology entrepreneur Martine Rothblatt.
Before she was a student, BINA48 appeared as a guest speaker for many of Barry’s classes. During one of her visits, she expressed an interest in going to college herself. Barry supported her idea and suggested she take his Philosophy of Love course.
The robotic student participated in class discussions, engaged in a class debate about the use of lethal weapons with students from West Point and ultimately received a certificate of participation signed by the provost of NDNU. (Read more from “Meet the Robot That Passed a College Class on Philosophy and Love” HERE)