Many sci-fi movies were made on the topic of AI. What we once saw in the movies is slowly becoming the reality which means that robots could take over the most ordinary jobs.
Meet Nadine, billed as the world’s real ‘most human’ robot.
She was developed by scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, who claim robots just like Nadine will one day become members of staff in workplaces across the world.
Nadine, who bears a remarkable similarity to her creator, professor Nadia Thalmann, the university’s director of the Institute for Media Innovation, has already been put to work as a receptionist there.
The team are touting childcare and even befrienders of lonely people as future possible job opportunities.
The life-like skin, complete with veined hands, flowing brown hair, and humanesque movements are only half of the equation.
Artificial intelligence means Nadine smiles, blinks, makes eye contact and shakes hands with visitors to the university and can even recognise previous acquaintances and converse with them thanks to a memory of their previous contact.
But, the other essential ingredient the boffins claim they have added to her to prevent her being just a clone in the workforce, is personality and emotions.
Yes, that’s right, the team claims she comes complete with mood swings – from happy to sad, depending on the discussion being had – all powered by intelligent software like Apple’s Siri or Microsoft’s Cortana.
However, they are not quite there with the voice or movements yet, and there is a blankness in the eyes telling you the lights are on, but no one is really home.
Nadine’s creator, Professor Thalmann, the university’s director of the Institute for Media Innovation, said: “This is somewhat like a real companion that is always with you and conscious of what is happening.”
She said they will become commonplace in homes and offices.
She said: “Robotics technologies have advanced significantly over the past few decades and are already being used in manufacturing and logistics.
“As countries worldwide face challenges of an ageing population, social robots can be one solution to address the shrinking workforce, become personal companions for children and the elderly at home, and even serve as a platform for healthcare services in future.
“Over the past four years, our team at NTU have been fostering cross-disciplinary research in social robotics technologies, involving engineering, computer science, linguistics, psychology and other fields, to transform a virtual human, from within a computer, into a physical being that is able to observe and interact with other humans.
“So in future, these socially intelligent robots could be like C-3PO, the iconic golden droid from Star Wars, with knowledge of language and etiquette.”