This robot's facial expressions are so lifelike it will make you cringe a little

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 3,269   +894
Staff member
Uncanny valley: "Used in reference to the phenomenon whereby a computer-generated figure or humanoid robot bearing a near-identical resemblance to a human being arouses a sense of unease or revulsion in the person viewing it." At one edge of the precipice you have humanoid robots that still look like machines. On the opposite side are robots that are indistinguishable from healthy human beings. In the valley are all forms of humanoids that just don't look right, but not for a lack of trying.

United Kingdom startup Engineered Arts (EA; not to be confused with Electronic Arts) has been manufacturing humanoid robots since 2005, but its creations have come a long way since its early robotic puppets. Its latest, dubbed Ameca, indeed enters the uncanny valley. The robot uses AI to give the robot natural-looking human facial expressions.

Ameca does not have AI built into it. Essentially it's a realistic bust that companies can program to create natural human expressions for promotions, movies, or whatever they can imagine (above). While it does incorporate facial gestures and hand movements, it cannot walk or talk.

The project builds on its previous humanoid robot Mesmer, which EA built to mimic humans. Think of Mesmer as a puppet that EA can fit with the face of any model and can be operated remotely (below).

It's hard to tell which creation is more unsettling. Mesmer has a more human appearance, but the facial gestures are more mechanical than Ameca's. In my opinion, I would say Mesmer is on the downslope, and Ameca is on the upslope of the uncanny valley.

Regardless of where the two reside on the scale, they are prime examples of where robotics and AI are headed. We are not that far from having working androids similar to those we have seen on countless television shows and movies.

Although, Ameca cannot currently walk, Engineering Arts wants its bots to be ambulatory eventually. The company's vision might be closer than we think, considering the work Boston Dynamics has done in this area.

What are your thoughts? If they were affordable, would you entertain owning a lifelike robot to keep you company or do your dishes, or does the whole thing too creepy?

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Danny101

Posts: 1,997   +830
Artificial Intelligence is false. It's all programmed. Machines don't really learn. They calculate. And they will never be able to understand intangibles. Every IF and Then statement is hardcoded and a machine can't code. Maybe someday, but not now.
 

Bao Nguyen

Posts: 114   +85
Artificial Intelligence is false. It's all programmed. Machines don't really learn. They calculate. And they will never be able to understand intangibles. Every IF and Then statement is hardcoded and a machine can't code. Maybe someday, but not now.

I think that you underestimated an AI program a lot and may be mistaken a normal program with an AI program. AI programs do indeed learn, and we can train them. They are not as simple as a collection of If Then Else statements but how they work is based on a massive amount of data collected forming a neural network.

Let's examine this very vulgar and simple example: says 1000/1000 human will choose to eat food instead of eat ****, the rate is 100% so the AI will just know to pick food over **** to eat because they have the sufficient data to make that decision.
 

Neatfeatguy

Posts: 647   +1,140
"One of us. One of us."

Detective Spooner: why do you give them faces? Try to friendly them all up, but not me; to me they're nothing but lights and clockwork.


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sagbobbit

Posts: 11   +7
Artificial Intelligence is false. It's all programmed. Machines don't really learn. They calculate. And they will never be able to understand intangibles. Every IF and Then statement is hardcoded and a machine can't code. Maybe someday, but not now.
In the end, that's all a brain is
 

BigRedPDX

Posts: 137   +117
Our brains handle a lot of processing. AI is getting better all the time, and faster. I can see future news articles already... robot hacked to steal purse from old lady. Let's get some 2FA built into these bots.