Remember the movie “Ex Machina”, in which a programmer falls in love with a droid? Looks like it may not be as unusual as you think in the near future as Geminoid F, an eerily realistic robot woman made an appearance during the World Robot Conference in Beijing.
The 5ft 6 inches Android has already amassed a lot of fans and been nicknamed “the world’s sexiest robot”. According to China’s state-run news service, the rubber-skinned android can speak, sing and even act. However, she is unable to walk and has to be wheeled around. She also co-starred in Japanese “Sayonara”, a Japanese film about the aftermath of a nuclear power-plant meltdown. That made her the first robot to score an actress profile on IMDB.
Geminoid F was created by Osaka University’s Ishiguro lab. The creators used recordings from voice actresses to make it sound like a real person. In the Beijing tech show, she was asked some random questions like “How old are you?”, “What do you like to do?” while she was surrounded by the crowd of people. And surprisingly, she blinked her eyes, answered by looking at that man in a slow but clear, natural voice, “My age is a secret. I like chatting with people.”
She is designed to look like a woman in her early 20s. To give her that realistic look, creators used silica gel. You may wonder whether she will look aged after some years. Yes, she will. Her silica gel skin can even age. Sun Yuting, a Chinese student working for Ishiguro lab said, “The gel will become saggy after one or two years and has to be replaced as a result.”
Her operating system is designed to emulate people’s motions as well as their facial expressions. She can even show her emotions while speaking, singing and acting. She was quite fast to operate when a female visitor proposed a selfie with her.
Some visitors also considered her as a companion to cure loneliness. “There are people like me who have only one child,” said Ma, a visitor who came with his 6 year old child. “Twenty or thirty years in the future, when my child is grown up, a robot that can communicate with me might be a good choice.”
The robot is currently priced at about 519,000 Yuan (about $81,000). No doubt that it’s an amazing robot but still the price seems to be very high. The robot already attracted so many people with realistic appearance, good looks and acting talent. Kohei Ogawa, assistant professor at Ishiguro Laboratory said, “Our final goal is creating some artificial intelligence by using this robot. Most voice recognition systems do not work, in a noisy environment. In the future we’re going to create a perfect AI system by using this robot.”