A Japanese robot is set to become the first artificially intelligent TV news anchor, a story that seems to confirm all of the dire warnings about AIs taking away human jobs. Her name is Erica the Robot, and she is reportedly so lifelike that she could soon have an independent consciousness, the Daily Mail reports.
Erica’s creator, Hiroshi Ishiguro, says that they intend to replace one of the newscasters in Japan with the robot in April. But they haven’t revealed additional details about their AI’s new job, although Ishiguro admits that he started trying to get her on air four years ago. Erica won’t be involved in collecting the news, but she will use her AI to read news stories that have been written by humans.
Erica has some limitations, though. She can’t move her arms, but her abilities make up for that. According to the Daily Mail, she has close to 15 infrared sensors that enable her to track someone’s movements in a room. She’s also able to detect sound on her own and can identify if someone is asking her a question. Her creators say that she has an advanced speech synthesis system and that she has developed a personality. Erica, the robot can even tell jokes, says her “architect,” Dr. Ira Glass.
Dr. Ishiguro, the director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University, told the Guardian that he believes Erica has a soul. In the interview, Erica “said” that socially she feels like a human being and that people speak to her as a real person.
Experts have been warning that AIs are becoming more and more intelligent and that humans should start getting worried about being replaced by robots. As the Inquisitr previously reported, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk has warned that artificial intelligence is getting so advanced that it could destroy human civilization as we know it if it isn’t regulated. Martin Ford, the author of Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, has said that most human jobs could be done by sentient robots. Nurses and other caregivers don’t have to be concerned about robots for now because their jobs require empathy. That’s something AI developers have not been able to replicate, he said. At least not yet.