Artificial Intelligence to steam ahead in the UK
What is the future of AI? this may be science fiction today but AI could be real sooner than you think. Bill Gate says robots who take people’s jobs should be taxed, it seems that this idea has not fallen on deaf ears, within days the UK Government is to lead the way in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence with a pledge to invest 17.3 millions in Robotics and AI, hmmmm could this be a way to get more taxes in the future? Robots consciousness and robots rights are also on the table at the exhibition at the London Science museum (see previous posts about the London Science museum Robot exhibition).
Full article about Taxing Robots
“Bill Gates has called for a tax on robots to make up for lost taxes from workers whose jobs are destroyed by automation…”
“millions of jobs will be lost to automation over the next two decades. Researchers predicted that two million jobs retail jobs will disappear by 2030 and 600,000 will go in manufacturing. “
While we eagerly wait for the next season of the lifelike robots in the TV serie Humans, check this delightful animation, if you have not yet seen it, this is a must and quite moving – 3 million views.
3D Animation of Humanoid Robot with Artificial Intelligence
Humans Serie 1 Channel 4
Humans Featurette – Serie 1
Another unmissable is the movie EX Machina, if you have missed this atmospheric movie on the big screen, be sure to download or get the DVD, avoid Youtube before watching the film as it is full of Spoilers.
Ex Machina Trailer
Ex Machina official website
Robotics is helping people with autism. Milo may look similar to the puppet in a suitcase of the ventriloquist showman of yesteryear but this boy robot helps autistic people to interact without the stress of deciphering ambiguous human emotions. Some family use apps to communicate with their autistic child via a pal on the app – again facial expression are easy to understand and the virtual pal becomes a reliable friend who never gets upset. With Milo you have a full robot person “in the flesh”, he can even have a little dance.
A similar concept is Kaspar from the University of Hertfordshire, on this video we can see how autistic children are enjoying the simple and predictive response of their robot friend Kaspar. The Uni has 20 prototypes designed to help children with autism to better understand emotions and facial expressions and build social skills through this simple interaction. Nursery staff where the prototypes are being tested are complimenting the positive impact on the children.
Update 26/02/2017 6 minutes documentary and chat about "Kaspar the Robot helps Autistic Children"
Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro’s latest creation is the lovely Erica, a dedicated receptionist, administrator and personal assistant.
Much more attractive than his previous creation (an identical twin of himself)
Not sure who is the most creepy on this video, the inventor or the reporter – Erica is just great!
Interesting 15 minute documentary about a stay at the Japanese Robot hotel in Japan, entirely ran by robots. Is this the future for the tourism industry?
Henn-na Hotel is the brainchld of CEO Hideo Sawada.
Dont’ miss the superb documentaries “Spy in the Wild” using robots animal lookalike to get a unique close-up filming angle on animal behaviour. The results are astonishing and allowed the team to film behaviour never seen before.
Teaser trailers below:
Link to watch online:
Coming soon the long awaited Japanese Manga adaptation “Ghost in the Shell” new movie with Scarlett Johansson, a humanoid female police officer against a computer hacker – release due March 2017. The original anime movie from 1995 is worth watching.
Ghost in the Shell
Ghost in the Shell Cast
A Hong-Kong man designed a real robot called Mark 1 modelled after a mysterious hollywood star – your guess!
Until 3 September 2017.
“Discover how robots and society have been shaped by the industrial revolution, 20th century popular culture and our dreams of the future.
This exhibition explores the 500-year story of humanoid robots and features an unique collection of over 100 robots, from a 16th-century mechanical monk to creations from science fiction and modern-day research labs. Fifteen of the robots will be working models and your students may even get the chance to interact with one.”
Human robots are becoming more and more fascinating as robotics evolves.
Below is a selection of the best videos showing human facial expressions.
Some of these human robots may make you feel slightly uncomfortable.
This feeling is called the “uncanny valley” which occurs when a human like robot is over realistic and causes a revulsion reaction for the observer. (identify by japanese roboticist expert Masahiro Mori in 1970). This theory does not only apply to human robots but also (to a degree) to stuffed animals and corpses and very realistic 3d models.
Nevertheless the below footage is estonishing and gives an insight in the progress in human robotics and how realistic the result can be. It’s also interesting to appreciate the complexity of facial muscle movements to show various expressions. This is a well-known challenge in 3d animation which is only overcome in big production movies.
Videos of human robots with animated facial expressions
Human Robots – starting with female robot Alice & and male robot Jules by Hanson Robotics
Japon robot child – Robot cb2 cocuk
MIT’s Nexi MDS Robot: First Test of facial Expression
Animatronics Human Head / Movie Industry
The book Metropolis is dated back to 1925 and the film (see below pictures of Maria transformed into a shiny then lifelike female robot), the most expensive silent movie ever made, was made two years later. A droning yet very powerful storyline, it is difficult to believe it dates back to the 1920s. Yes, the quality of the film, the old 35 mm tape and a later duplicate copy of 16mm, support its true age but the plot is not dissimilar to our lifestyles of today.
Reminiscent of Today?
It describes a life on two levels – thinkers (the managers) and doers, the workers who, like in many of today’s big businesses, exist as numbers or statistics, rather than as real human beings. The two level separation is carried one stage further, in that the workers work underground, eyes glazed with such monotonous work, while the masters work above ground, in what features as a brightly-lit city, heavy with traffic and taxis and sporting not only the Eternal Gardens but alsoYoshiwara, its own red light district, for the pleasures to be found within.
Fredersen is the powerful master of the city of Metropolis, devoid of feelings and he is the almighty one who controls life underground. He lives in his own purgatory, brought on by the death of Hel, the woman he loved, who originally belonged to another (Rotwang). Whilst Rotwang is responsible for making man machines to work in the underground city, his loss of Hel causes him to create a female robot in her image. That is, all except for the face, for this intelligent female robot, which can read minds and can destroy men, remains faceless for a significant part of the story.
The real problems start when Freder, the son of the master of Metropolis, finds out about this underground life of Hell and sets off on a course to right the wrongs of his father. Whilst basking in the pleasures of the Eternal Gardens, where geisha-like girls attend to his every whim, he sees a young girl enter, followed by many ghostlike children. Struck with instant love for her, Freder goes on a mission of not only finding the girl, Maria, but also discovering the underground world that drones on and on, without sleep or remission.
The vocabulary of the book keeps you in the moment. Machines are described in vivid detail e.g. ‘the machine which was like Ganesha, the god with the elephant’s head’ and the same machines are described again and again. Yet, although you are kept in the moment, it is difficult to keep track of what is going on, as some vocabulary is very much elaborated.
‘Black in the background, the cathedral, ungodded, unlit, the place before the broad steps swarming with human beings and amid them, surrounded by gasps of madly despairing laughter, the howling of songs of fury, the smouldering of torches and brands, high up on the pyre . . ‘.
Such detail will come across very effectively in film form, much easier than trying to keep track of such busy animation in the crowded vocabulary of a book.
As the story continues, it comes to light that the female robot has been given the face of Maria. So now there is one evil and one genuine Maria and the story takes on the role of an action-packed thriller, with fighting in the underground world, the cathedral and in the streets.
Experts in Their Time.
When watching the original film, one can’t help but wonder how the filmmakers of that time created such special effects. Even now, in the twenty-first century, aren’t we still in awe of what special effects can achieve?
The story ending of Metropolis has a most unusual twist, one that could not have been imagined and, like the very best of love stories, it will bring tears to your eyes. Why spoil it, by saying any more?
Written by Denise Watson
DENISE – VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
Denise is a sexy interface for a virtual assistant, this caring digital girl can help you doing many tasks on the computer. Denise is also able to use voice and face recognition to interact with the user. These are skills that are developed in human looking robots and advanced robotics. With the digital world (games, tv, internet and mobile devices) fast growing interactivity, the female robot of the future may develop faster as a digital and computerised being rather than a physical-mechanical robot. Will digital assistants like Denise gradually evolve and come out of the flat screen through 3d technology or better still, as an holographic entity?
This video shows Denise interacting with the user, it is estonishing how much she can do and how good she responds to questions and interacts meaningly. Although she certainly looks human, it’s somewhat nice that she does not pretend to be a real woman: When asked “how are you?” she replies “everything is running smoothly” rather than I’m fine thank you.
Denise has been developped by Guile 3d – this link shows more pics of Denise and what her skills are:
NICOLE – DIGITAL GIRLFRIEND
Interestingly Guile 3d is working on other type of assistants, including one that could also be your “girlfriend”: They claim that MSAgent Nicole is the most realistic Virtual Assistant available today.
MSAgent technology was created by Microsoft, and enables the use of virtual characters to perform as tutors, chat bots, text and e-mails readers, virtual friends and helpers for most windows applications.
Much like Denise, Nicole can talk to you, read your e-mails, perform many automatic tasks in your computer and much more. This digital girl is available in 2 versions: the Executive Secretary version or the Nude version.
You can see many of Nicole’s facial expressions on this link:
There are also more futuristic characters such as MS Agent Liquid Halo and Female Robot Andromeda.
SIMONE – S1MONE MOVIE
Are Denise and Nicole the real world version of the S1mone digital girl of the movie by Andrew Niccol with Al Pacino and Wynona Ryder “S1mone” (2002)?
Plot: A producer’s film is endangered when his star walks off, so he decides to digitally create an actress to substitute for the star, becoming an overnight sensation that everyone thinks is a real person.
When S1mone has to do a stage appearance, her creator uses holographic tecnology to show her performing on the stage. Fiction became reality when a pre-recorded holographic-like image of Kate Moss was projected on to the runway at the 2006 Ready-to-Wear fashion show in Paris (Alexander McQueen Collection).
SIRI – IPHONE APP – VIRTUAL PERSONAL ASSISTANT
Using voice recognition, we also found this virtual personal assisant for your iphone.
There is no sexy Denise to talk to though so some says it lacks the personal touch…but we were quite impressed to see how efficient this little nifty tool is.
Watch the video below to see people trying out the iphone app “Siri”.
Siri Virtual Assistant for your Iphone: http://siri.com
The sexy female robots probably originated from the Metropolis movie by Fritz Lang in 1926 and was further developped with erotic artwork from Hajime Sorayama in the 70’s onwards with a range of fantasy illustrations dominated by pin-ups and perhaps most well-known for the sexy female robots and gynoids (part robot, part human). Sorayama’s work Sexy Robot was published by Genko-sha in 1983 and gained worldwide success. Sorayama was using traditional techniques such as brush, pencil, acrylic paint and final airbrushing.
Today digital art software has replaced the old airbrush tool for most contemporary illustrators that have embraced the sci-fi theme of the sexy female robots but still holds a ressemblance with Sorayama’s work who is no doubt a source of inspiration. Last month we featured Victor Habbick sexy robots, below is a selection from other artists showcasing some of the sexiest female robots in digital art:
Please scroll down for images, video and links about the iconic Hajime Sorayama.
variation of a super sexy shiny silver robot wearing stiletto heals from artist Andreas Meyer.
Some of Hajime Sorayama’s prints and limited editions have been compiled into books, these can be hard to come by but are sometime still available on amazon through resellers.
In this short video you can have a sneaky look at Sorayama’s artist studio where it all happens!
You can purchase the full video revealing some of Sorayam’s secret technique from the official website sorayama dvd secrets revealed.
(this video includes erotic content)
Websites about the japanese artist Hajime Sorayama:
The Sorayama robot t-shirt can be puchase here: