Scores of animals exist in scientific laboratories for the purpose of serving as our proxies, their cortices mapped and their flu responses studied so scientists can figure out how humans work. But in many cases, there's little agreement between their functions and ours, and scientists need to figure out how to draw useful comparisons. To get a better handle on this, brain researchers had humans and monkeys watch "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" inside an MRI machine.
Instead of envisioning robots as either mindless slaves or potential overlords, couldn't we just figure out how to all work together? Cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists are teaming up with roboticists to do just that -- developing teamworkbots that know how to read their partner's actions and intentions and to predict what he or she will do next as they complete tasks together.