Hanson Robotics proved that they had a winner up their sleeves at SXSW Interactive not too long ago, with Sophia the robot who was paraded for all and sundry to check out. Needless to say, journalists had a field day testing out her verbal and facial responses, where Hanson Robotics claim that Sophia is capable of 62 facial expressions, which is more than I can say for certain glum-faced humans who find it a chore to even smile.
A couple of cameras in her eyes will be able to track facial movements and expressions, which in turn will enable her to provide the appropriate response when engaged in a conversation. The material which makes up her face is patented rubber, also known as “frubber,” allowing her to have that non-wrinkled human look, although the exposed circuitry in the back of her head clearly defines her as a robot.
Sophia does have her limits in communication, as with how many of us would have found out by now when it comes to the like of Siri and Cortana. Although thoughtful responses have been given to questions asked before, but there are moments where Sophia seems to recite answers in a very factual manner, as though reading from an encyclopedia, which means there is plenty more work left to do before the likes of Sophia become more and more lifelike to us humans.
They’ve certainly got the looks down pat for sure! I’d rather have Sophia deliver my pizza though.
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