Yangyang is a female robot that looks incredibly human. People saw the android display some amazingly convincing expressions during a demonstration at the GMIC (Global Mobile Internet Conference) in Beijing on Wednesday. Yangyang also speaks and does other human-like things.
Instead of muscles, which humans use to control facial movements, Yangyang has about 40 motors, which according to its creators, Hanson Robotics, produce delicate facial expressions.
Dressed in a long red coat, the robot moved its head, spoke, and raised its hands – duping several people around her into believing she was a real woman.
Yangyang can display a range of facial expressions and can speak, move her head, and raise her hands to greet people in an almost human-like way. (Image: GMIC)
Yangyang is one of several robots today that appear to be eerily human.
An earlier version of what Hanson Robotics claimed was the first ever walking robot with realistic human-like expressions was Albert Hubo, whose facial expressions, thanks to the company’s FrubberTM material, made you think you were looking at a live Albert Einstein.
Yangyang was created jointly by Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro, director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, part of the Department of Systems Innovation in the Graduate School of Engineering Science at Osaka University, Japan, and China’s Shanghai Yangyang Intelligent Robot Science Service Centre.
They say they created the robot because they want to make robotics more popular among young people.
Many US media outlets say Yangyang looks very much like former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin.
Some scientists wary of intelligent robots
Many scientists across the world are concerned about human-like robots and artificial intelligence.
In February, the University of Oxford quoted the eminent British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author, Stephen Hawking who wondered whether artificial intelligence (AI) might not one day bring about the destruction of human civilization, or threaten our very survival.
In a BBC interview, Prof. Hawking said, after talking about an upgrade to the technology he uses to communicate, which uses a basic form of AI:
“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”
He explained that while, so far, the primitive forms of AI we have developed have proved extremely useful for humans, he fears the consequences of creating something that could one day surpass human intelligence.
Prof. Hawking added:
“It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”
Video – Artificial Intelligence
Computer scientists and roboticists often use the term ‘AI.’ AI or Artificial Intelligence refers to programs that software engineers created that make computers, robots, and other devices ‘smart.’ In other words, they designed them to think like us (humans) and also to behave like us.