It seems I got stuck on robot theme.
A few months ago, the 2045 Initiative movement (previously known as Russia 2045) unveiled the first realistic Russian android head, based on its founder, Russian media enterpreneur Dmitry Itskov. Three years back, I blogged about Russia 2045 and an immortality seeking Mr Itskov.
Itskov is a big believer in the prophetic technological singularity, and claims that by 2045 we will have developed the means to transplant our minds into computers and android bodies.
His android surrogate, built and programmed by Moscow-based Neurobotics, has been dismantled and turned into the country’s first female android. Her name is Alissa. Here she is:
Alissa’s face may look somewhat realistic at first glance, since the silicone mask was made from one of Neurobotics’ employees.
However, while some other more advanced heads have more than 30 points of articulation, Alissa has only 8. This works out to be just enough to add movement to its eyes and mouth, which are controlled with a standard game pad. The head is mounted to a mannequin, which stands on a wheel base for mobility.
And this is how she talks in more than one language:
In telepresence mode, the operator uses Skype to communicate with the outside world. The cameras in Alissa’s eyeballs provide a video feed, while the operator uses a headset. The company is experimenting with a relatively simple EEG (electroencephalography) set-up to allow the operator to drive the robot’s base using thoughts alone.
Neurobotics is working closely with the 2045 Initiative, which claims androids will be commonplace by the end of the decade. However, given the humbling reality of the current state-of-the-art in countries like Japan, such predictions should be taken with a heavy grain of salt.