Friday, May 05, 2006

Korean Scientists Develop Female Android

The Korea Times : Korean Scientists Develop Female Android: Why would the first two lifelike androids ever built be constructed as attractive young women appearing to be in their early twenties? They're not hyper-sexy, but there is something a little gynoid-ish about them.
"Standing 1.6 meters tall and weighing about 50 kilograms, she can understand others, speak, blink with her eyes and makes several facial expressions.

But she is not human, rather an android developed by a team of South Korean scientists. It is only the second time in the world that an android has been developed - Japan made the first one."

This is the android, dubbed Repliee Q1, that was a exhibited by Japanese researchers in 2005:

Then again, you gotta wonder if maybe the guy standing there beside her, posing so convincingly in a thoughtful ponder, is the actual android of interest. (This video from YouTube seems to corroborate such a speculation. "The robot is getting close to the human," says Professor Hiroshi Ishiguro. "How do we develop more human-like behaviours for the android, and where do we become aware that [it] is not a human? And, finally, does a human unconsciously recognize a human? So we are studying what is a human by using this android robot." Now this would be an interesting study: we expect the android on display to be a gynoid; what if the real study is to see whether we detect that the Professor is an android? A good novel can come of this--maybe I'll write it!). But back to the gynoids.

Here's a video of Repliee Q1 from YouTube.

Here is a beautiful video from YouTube of a female automaton by Jaquet-Droz. I wonder if the nail polish was on the original 18th-century construction, or if it was added later?

Here's a clip on YouTube of the famous Maria from Fritz Lang's Metropolis.

Pygmalion and Galatea, Jean-Leon Gerome (1824-1904).


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