However, ever since Czech playwright Karel Čapek coined the term "robot“ in 1920, humanity has been fascinated by the idea of human-constructed, humanoid beings which can emulate their makers; i.e. androids. Since then, literature, film, and science have glommed on to the challenge. Fictional androids are often depicted as mentally and physically equal or superior to humans ‒ moving, thinking and speaking as fluidly as humans ‒ thanks to advanced artificial intelligence.
In the 21st century, the scientific aspects, including artificial intelligence, are beginning to take the baby steps needed to catching up with the imagination which, of course, fuels technological advances. Take China, for example.
China’s leaders have made it clear that they intend China to be the world-wide leader in artificial intelligence, from androids to surveillance equipment to self-driving cars. In spite of what I’ve read written by Americans and other westerners, denying that Chinese technology is more advanced, it would appear to the novice that they are, in fact, ahead of us.
What any country is working on in the realm of artificial intelligence is probably either classified or so low key to the general public that we know nothing about it, but it’s a little scary to think about. Much of the publicly-visible work is being done by China’s state news agency, Xinhua, teaming up with various Chinese hi-tech companies.
You’re probably familiar with most of the TV news anchors for the 6 o’clock news in your area, I thought you might like to meet some of the recent news anchors from China.
speaking anchor – Name ? human reporter Zhao Wanwei, ing anchor is modeled after
link: youtu.be/Cjn_ZJQ-e0Y videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/ reporter Qiu Hao
after human reporter Qu Meng Han traditional dress.
In 2017, before the news anchors were introduced, a robot journalist (Robot HRP-4C, now named Xiao Nan) wrote a 900 character article which was published in the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily. But she isn’t stopping there. The Daily Mail.com reported she was being “trained” for modeling in a fashion show but noted “her walk was not quite ready….partly because she must keep her knees bent the whole time”. She has sensors in her feet but lacked the balance of a human.
Not to be left behind, other Asian countries are also in the mix. Japan has been one of the leaders in design of humanoid robots. Waseda University started its WABOT project in 1967 and in 1972 completed WABOT 1, the first full-scale humanoid intelligent with limb control allowing it to walk, grip and carry objects with its hands. as well as a vision system, ears, and mobile mouth that spoke Japanese
◄ Japanese Robot DER 01
Image Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android
In 2014, they introduced their first life-like news reader called a Kodomoroid – a combination of the Japanese word “kodomo”' meaning child and android. In her debut demo she is said to have spoken smoothly and moved her lips in time to a voice-over.
A highly advanced robot named Erica was introduced in 2018 by the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University. She has the most advanced artificial speech systems in the world and can hold a conversation with humans thanks to speech generation algorithms, facial recognition technology and infrared sensors that track faces across a room. She even likes to tell jokes. She is currently a news reader but bigger things are planned for her.
Source of images: importantinnovations.com/2018/tv-news-anchor
A final word on Japanese technology is the 2015 film Sayonara, starring Geminoid F. This was the first movie to feature an android performing opposite a human actor.
The robot Geminoid F’s looks were called “uncannily realistic” in reviews but “beyond her human voice, there’s no trace of emotion in her delivery, nor any intelligible design to the character’s eerie pre-programmed eye blinks.”
Geminoid F - Image Source: robots.ieee.org/robots/geminoidf/
MBN, a South Korean news channel, has its own news anchor robot with artificial intelligence. The news channel partnered with MoneyBrain for this project and the anchor has been named Kim Joha. MBN channel says that this way the news can be broadcast faster and it will save time and resources.
Kim Joha – Image Source: healthandfashion.us/robot-news-ancho ►
EveR-2, ▲ So.Korean News Anchor - Image Source: wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_(robot)
The EveR series was developed with the ambitious plan of putting an inter-personal communications robot in every household by 2020. I don’t think the South Korea realized that goal, but EveR-2 is much more advanced. She is claimed to be the first android who can sing.
Note: Everyone seems to claim the title of being first. There is such a variety that anyone reading this should take all such claims with a grain of salt.
Part of South Korea’s long range plan is to build several robot cities. South Korea has a new Robotics Ethics Charter which sets the ground rules and laws for human interaction with robots in the future.
The first, nameless Chinese news anchor wasn’t the only one to get bad reviews. Around 2015, Rossiya 24 aired Russia’s own robot reporter, Alex, on Moscow TV. Although he spoke in a monotone, Alex can hold a basic conversation using data uploaded into its brain. With 29 motors in its silicon face, the robot can make expressions, though most are stiff compared to a human face.
“Meet Rossiya 24's new anchor, robot Alex. Artificial intelligence, a talent for propaganda and an integrated fake news generator is available right in your box."
"Alex, if they are holding you hostage and force you to drink alcohol, wink three times when you go on the air!"
Promobot co-founder Alexei Yuzhakov
(left) shows off Alex the robot (right)
Image Source: bbc.com/news/technology
Alex was criticized for his rough appearance and clothes, his unfocused gaze and awkward facial expressions. The website for Afisha Daily, a Russian entertainment and lifestyle magazine, posted the comment that, “It looks terrifying.” Viewers said “nyet” to the robot as a replacement for a human. No recent news about Alex was available.
In 2015, the Russian military demonstrated a robot-like military cyborg that drove a four-wheeler in a circle. Also they have a tank-like robot with treads and machine guns, but it doesn’t look even vaguely like a humanoid.
EVERYONE ELSE HAS ONE! WHY CAN’T WE?
Relax! We have Sophia. Not only is she an humanoid android with artificial intelligence, she is getting famous and has been made an honorary citizen of Saudi Arabia.
Sophia, and her creator, David Hanson
You can’t miss recognizing Sophia. Unlike the other robots, who attempt to emulate humans as much as possible so we can relate, this android goes bald most
She smiles, she blinks, she walks, she talks, she sings, and her favorite actor is Shahrukh Khan. How they know that is anyone’s guess. I’m clueless.
Sophia is accumulating credits for being on TV shows and made a guest appearance on ‘The Tonight Show’. She attends conferences around the world, including the World Economic Forum and the ‘Artificial Intelligence For Good’ Global Summit. She also sang a song, ‘All is made of love’ at GIMC 2016, Beijing. She has even posed for the cover of Elle Magazine.
Tonight Show Link: youtu.be/G-zyTlZQYpE
Tonight show link: youtu.be/6RyF3DwdAak
I wish they would put a wig on her.
A ROBOT IS AN ANDROID IS A CYBORG IS A ROBOT… ?
Just a word or two about definitions. I seriously doubt that we are all on the same page when it comes to mutually understanding what the other guy is talking about. This is an emerging field of study, and definitions are going to get in the way more often than not. We have had machines that do work for us and operate on a certain level of artificial intelligence for a while now. Are they robots? Yes, they are.
I am sure that people working in the field of robotics and artificial intelligence know what certain words and technical terms mean, but to date most people probably don’t. When I first saw the videos of the Chinese news anchors, I thought they were simply digital. Well, they are digital, but not “simply” and not in the sense I thought. They are fully bodied humanoid robots who look and move around sort of like people.
Just as there is a range of terminology ‒ androids, robots, cyborgs, replicants, machines, humanoids ‒ there is a range of artificial intelligence. I suppose this range of terminology can explain how every achievement “is the first.”
I have no answers. Just be cautious, and question what you read. The reporter who wrote the article may not understand, either.
Today’s androids look somewhat authentic but they are still recognizable as humanoid robots. However, it’s a marvelous world we are live in, and this is just the beginning.
http://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn?mode=LSD&mid=sec&sid1=102&oid=020&aid=0000371339, Attribution, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4362293