A humanoid robot created by researchers from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University is giving jitters to robotic enthusiasts as the machine resembles its developers in both appearance and presence of a personality.
The creatures have programmed their social ‘bot’, dubbed as Nadine, with intelligent assistant software similar to Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. One thing that separates Nadine from other assistant software is its way to express moods and emotions. The robot is capable of remembering people she has met before, as per the researchers.
Many robotic enthusiasts have been praising this research in a positive way, but there are some robotic experts too who believe a human-like robot could be just a way to fool people. They raised questions about the robot’s use in filling societal and personal needs. MIT professor Sherry Turkle said that robots like Nadine gives feeling that technology is going to make everyone forget what they know about life.
Turkle, author of ‘Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age’, said seeing a robot which looks like a human has become everyday thing. “It has two eyes, it smiles, better, better, better right. And then you hit the point where ‘Oh my Gosh!’ it’s starting to look like it could be a person and the fact that you’re starting to respond to it like it’s a person starts to creep you out”, the professor added.
According to Turkle, it’s not good to play with old people and children’s feelings by making such things.
NewsWeek reported that, the humanoid named Nadine can recognize people she has previously met, and recall their names and previous conversations, say the NTU researchers.
As a test of her abilities, Nadine, who is powered by technology similar to that which runs Apple’s iPhone assistant Siri, is working as a receptionist at the NTU. When a guest comes to the university, Nadine greets them with a firm handshake before engaging in flowing conversation. But, like a human, Nadine has a personality and her mood can sour depending on what you say to her.
I4U report said, The experts at NTU have showcased a new form of robotics that is fast changing the techno-scape. It consists of social and telepresence robots that are indeed a marvel of existence. Nadine is a receptionist at NTU (Singapore). She is very pleasant to talk to and will greet whoever enters the premises of the university. Why, she even remembers what you talked about the last time you met her.
And she will refer to the previous conversation when you say hello to her the next time you enter the university. She appears for all purposes like a very beautiful lady with a translucent rosy complexion and light auburn hair. But the only thing is…she is a robot.
In a statement provided to E27, Another humanoid robot, Expressions Display and Gesturing Avatar Robot (EDGAR), was also showcased yesterday.
However, unlike Nadine, EDGAR only serves as a physical avatar for humans. It has a near-projection screen for a face and two arms. To control it, users have to stand in front of a specialised webcam, the robot will then mimic and project the user’s upper body movements and gestures in real time.