She Looks Human, but is She Sentient?


If you were wondering when robots would become sentient, we’re one day closer with Aiko. She can be used in the home, to help kids with their math, help the elderly read newspapers, check the weather, distinguish between different medicines etc. In the office at an information desk, to alert meeting times, give directions such as food court, washroom, elevators. She performs security functions well–she can
detect 250 faces per second and do a quick filter of known faces at the airport, answer arrival/departure time questions or give locations to certain gates and answer other queries etc. You can follow her on Twitter Click Here and here her singing here (Aiko Singing Video Click Here).

Who is this dream assistant? Watch YouTube:

More? Read on…

Inventor Demonstrates Humanoid Robot’s Latest AI Abilities (w/ Video)

(PhysOrg.com) — In August 2007, Le Trung invented Aiko, a Yumecom, or “Dream Computer Robot.” Although it took only a month and a half to build Aiko’s exterior, the artificial intelligence software has been a work in progress ever since. Recently, Le Trung has demonstrated his most recent improvements to the software, called BRAINS (Bio Robot Artificial Intelligence Neural System).

In the video below, Le Trung demonstrates Aiko’s internal operating system, which gives the robot many abilities, including the ability to speak two languages (English and Japanese), solve high school math problems, communicate the weather forecast, understand more than 13,000 sentences, sing songs, identify objects, focus on objects or people of importance, read newspapers and other materials, and mimic human physical touch.

As Le Trung explains, in some ways the BRAINS software is even more powerful than a human brain because it can link to infinite sources of data. Similar to a human brain, the software is designed to interact with the surrounding environment, process it, and record the information in its internal memory. Once the internal memory is at full capacity, the information can be transferred into a server database. The information can then be shared with current and future robots.

With the BRAINS software, Aiko (whose name means “beloved one”) has the potential for many applications. For example, in the home, Aiko could help elderly people by reminding them when to take their medicine and helping them read the newspaper. It could also help kids with their math homework. In work and public environments, the robot could be used at information desks, where it could give directions and inform people when and where events take place. Le Trung also suggests that, with Aiko’s ability to detect 250 faces per second, it could be useful in airports to quickly scan and filter faces, as well as answer questions regarding flight times and gate locations. In addition, Aiko’s sensitivity sensors and humanlike appearance offer the potential for its use as a companion robot.

“The most recent improvement with Aiko is the BRAINS software,” Le Trung said. “I have just finished re-architecting the BRAINS software to have triple threads, which will make the software run a bit smoother and process about 15% faster for 3D recognition. As a result, Aiko can distinguish the difference between a $20 Canadian bill and $20 American bill. Aiko also has new improved facial expressions with 21 recognition points. Aiko will know when you are angry, happy, etc. Finally, the BRAINS can now process newspaper reading much faster and more accurate.”

Le Trung, whose background is in microbiology and chemistry, was originally inspired to build Aiko after watching “Chobits,” a Japanese manga that explores the relationships between humans and personal computers. While he hopes to continue to improve Aiko’s software, he currently faces a hardware limitation, as the CPU is currently at 99% capacity. Le Trung hopes to raise funds to upgrade the CPU.

In the future, Le Trung hopes to enable Aiko to achieve further skills, such as making tea, coffee, and a breakfast of eggs and bacon; cleaning a human’s ears with a Q-tip; giving a neck massage; writing; and cleaning windows, shelves, and bathrooms. He also hopes that, one day, he will be able to mass produce sister copies of Aiko for an estimated cost of about $17,000 – $20,000.

“Future improvements include making the voice with more emotions and feelings when speaking, improving the silicone material on her face so that she can do facial expressions like humans, and redesigning the body and arm system to move more naturally and carry heavier things,” Le Trung said.



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Discover the sizzle in science. It's not that stuff that's always for the smart kids. It's the need to know. The passion for understanding. The absolute belief that for every problem, there is a solution. The creative mind seeking truth in a world of mystery. The quest for the Holy Grail.

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Assembling California
Born On A Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant
The Forest People
Geology Underfoot in Southern California
The Land's Wild Music: Encounters with Barry Lopez, Peter Matthiessen, Terry Tempest William, and James Galvin
My Life with the Chimpanzees
Naked Earth: The New Geophysics
Our Inner Ape: A Leading Primatologist Explains Why We Are Who We Are
The Runaway Brain: The Evolution of Human Uniqueness
Sand Rivers
The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind, and Body
The Tree Where Man Was Born
The Wildlife of Southern Africa: A Field Guide to the Animal and Plants of the Region
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