An android embodiment of surrealist SF author Philip K. Dick will be demonstrated at Wired's NextFest this weekend in Chicago. The Dick bot is a collaboration between Hanson Robotics Inc, the FedEx Institute of Technology's Institute for Intelligent Systems, the Automation and Robotics Research Institute at UTA, and Dick's friend Paul Williams. From the Hanson Robotics overview:
The robot will portray Dick in both form and intellect through an artificial-intelligence-driven personality. The hardware will manipulate Hanson's proprietary lifelike skin material to affect extremely realistic expressions with very low power. Cameras in the eyes will allow the robot to perceive people's identity and behavior through advanced machine vision and biometric-identification software. The robot will track faces, perceive facial expressions, and recognize people from the crowd (family, friends, celebrities, etc).Link (Thanks, Dave Gill!)
The visual data will be fused with some of the best speech recognition software, advanced natural language processing, and speech synthesis in the world. All of this will run in sync with Hanson Robotics' highly expressive robot face to emulate a full human-conversational system.
IIS will create the artificial intelligence personality of the robot by mathematically deriving it from Dick's life and works in a manner very similar to that described by Dick himself in his book We Can Build You (published in 1964).
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.