Thursday, September 7, 2017

Mark Sagar Made a Baby in His Lab. Now It Plays the Piano.

If the title confuses or shocks you, that's probably because it's supposed to. Published this morning by Bloomberg, "Mark Sagar Made a Baby in His Lab. Now It Plays the Piano." details the work of Sagar in his lab at the University of Auckland. Sagar's mission is to "humanize AI," to make it more intuitively "alive" and less machine- or robot-like. The applications are many, and more basic than you may think. A relevant section of the piece:

[Humanizing AI] has the potential to yield a more symbiotic relationship between humans and machines. While [Sagar] wasn’t the first to this idea, his approach is unique, a synthesis of his early years as a computer scientist and later ones in the world of Hollywood special effects. The face, he’s concluded, is the key to barreling through the uncanny valley and making virtual beings feel truly lifelike... Soul Machines wants to produce the first wave of likable, believable virtual assistants that work as customer service agents and breathe life into hunks of plastic such as’s Echo and Google Inc.’s Home.

1 comment:

  1. Outstanding article. MIT Sloan News from today includes a link to a PBS discussion with Prof. Osterman who suggests the home health care industry may be one of the first to yield to this symbiotic relationship, particularly because the need is great and there is a shortage in the human workforce due to low pay.