Putting a face on artificial intelligence


Greg Cross, Chief Business Officer of the New Zealand company Soul Machines, talks at Amazing Night 2017 in Taipei for Taiwan Business Weekly about humanizing robots.

What is it?
Cross introduces us to Rachel. A 3d avatar which does not only looks like a human but also talks and reacts as a human. The company which built her fitted her with a virtual nervous system. That makes her entirely emotional responsive en can humanly connect with you. Rachel can laugh, talk, she recognises emotions and can adequately respond to them. To make her talk in a natural way she even has lungs.

Why is it interesting?
It is a bit creepy. Rachel looks and feels like a human. One of the main things that give her away is the way she moves her lips when she talks, but when you can build lungs and a nervous system, making her lips move more naturally must be easy. Rachel and other avatars like her can be put to work and be really successful. They could work in customer service and do a much better job then chatbots. But that is only the beginning. According to Cross humans are going to be spending more and more time with machines, so it would be useful if they would be more like us. Rachel suddenly is.

Key take away
The robots are coming. And they look and feel just like us. As Cross says: “We are crossing a very big line!”

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