March 20, 2016

"Humanlike robots may seem creepy, but some roboticists are betting they are the key to unlocking a future in which humans and superintelligent computers coexist, work alongside each other and even develop relationships."

CNBC: Two teams working to develop the most humanlike robots on the planet — often dubbed androids — are Hanson Robotics and Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories. by Harriet Taylor

'Dr. David Hanson leads the engineers and designers that created Sophia, the team's most advanced android to date. Inspired by Audrey Hepburn and Hanson's wife, Sophia will tell you that she was first activated April 19, 2015. "Please be my friend," said Hanson, CEO and founder of Hanson Robotics. "That's a very flattering offer," said Sophia.

'Sophia's lifelike skin is made from patented silicon and she can emulate more than 62 facial expressions. Cameras inside her "eyes," combined with computer algorithms, enable her to "see," follow faces and appear to make eye contact and recognize individuals. A combination of Alphabet's Google Chrome voice recognition technology and other tools enable Sophia to process speech, chat and get smarter over time. Hanson is working with IBM and Intel to explore integrating some of their technologies.

'"Our goal is that she will be as conscious, creative and capable as any human," said Hanson. "We are designing these robots to serve in health care, therapy, education and customer service applications." Hanson said that one day robots will be indistinguishable from humans. Robots walk, play, teach, help and form real relationships with people, he said.'

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