Something great is at hand in the social robotics industry.
To say that we have come a long way with humanoids is a colossal understatement. Advances in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) have enabled humans to create humanoid news anchors, psychologists, personal assistants, and more.
Back in 2017, for example, Hong Kong introduced debating robots Sophia and Han. In front of an audience, they talked about the future of robotics with humanity automatically mesmerizing the audience. Although a fully humanoid, sentient android is still an object of science fiction, that dream is not far away.
It is no longer man or machine but man and machine. The Japanese government has moved in early on this possibility, and is funding the development of care robots for the elderly. Tokyo’s Shin-tomi nursing home already deploys 20 types of robots for such care.
The company, Akin Robotics in Turkey has already began funding and producing mass production of humanoid further nearing the possibility of a man-machine present reality just as it is seen in novels. Social robotics is the new goal of the robotics industry in general.
With known companies like Samsung and GEMS, for example, venturing into the field as well, the discussion regarding the possibility of a man-robot day-to-day companionship life is no longer “is it possible” but has shifted to “when is it going to happen?”
As this inevitable reality draws near, new questions have arise considering the sentiency of androids. We are now living in the age of “are they one of us?”