Science Fiction Comes to Life
This right out of Star Trek story seems way too fictional to be true, but there are folks working on how to make an android that would look, talk, and respond like the character Dick from the 1982 novel, “We Can Build You.”
Andrew Olney, a programmer at the University of Memphis, and David Hanson, an independent roboticist, are the architects of this challenge. They are using the “Facial Action Coding System” to give the head lifelike expressions; using “Latent Semantic Analysis” to allow it to respond to questions by drawing on a vast bank of Dick’s writings and interviews; and creating polymer “Frubber” to look like skin. It is exciting (and admittedly, a little frightening) to see how advanced this project has become, and I will keep on eye on their progress.
This very interesting information was found on The Wall Street Journal in their article, “We Can Build You.”
Melody K. Smith
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