On one hand, we’re glad to see robots taking on basic human tasks, since it leaves us with time to handle creative or strategic projects. On the other hand, we can’t help but feel slightly threatened by the speed with which androids are evolving and becoming eerily similar in looks and behaviour to us. In the back of our minds, we secretly hope we will always be able to distinguish between one and the other, although… the Uncanny Valley is equally upsetting.
Who wants to spend time with something alive, but not quite?! In this sense, two Swedish scientists developed Furhat, the next step on the robot evolution scale #todaymagic
Furhat might be the face of Siri or Alexa, since the robot can swap faces anytime – seriously! Designers made a couple of white masks that attach magnetically to the metal infrastructure. After being calibrated, their facial animation program projects expressions as acurate and real as the ones you see from characters in video games. The only kink? You can clearly see it’s a projection, but that could be solved sooner than we expected by scientists at several universities where Furhat has been sent to be tweaked.
Check out the video above to see Furhat keeping a conversation real, even with insults and jokes.