Friday, April 11, 2008

"Monkey College"

In this video, a little primate cousin is being trained to help human cousins with disabilities. The monkey will go to live with a disabled individual, will do all of the handling of objects, even scratch itches and push eyeglasses back up noses, fill watter bottles, lift paralyzed arms up onto wheelchair arms, change CDs, magazines, switch lights on and off. It has agile hands (with a very big S1M1 same as we have, I imagine) and it has a trainable brain reinforced sufficiently through affection and positive reinforcement.

Apart from the admiration one feels for those who have designed and executed such a useful "primate social grooming" facility, and the endearing qualities these monkeys demonstrate, this whole idea puts a really interesting twist on the matter discussed in the previous post - kind of blurs the edge between species.

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