This second robot-related story is right out of Star Trek and 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 just a little frightening to see how advanced this project has become.

This very interesting information was found on The Wall Street Journal in their article, “We Can Build You.”

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.