Sophia: When Fashion Meets Robotics
Have you ever thought of that day when robot and human will look much alike that you won’t be able to tell them apart? Well, that’s the goal of Hanson Robotics, an American firm specialized in creating robot; but not any robot: lifelike robot. Sophia is the latest and also one of the most advanced robots of the firm.
What Makes Sophia So Special?
Sophia is a learning machine, she has evolving skills. This is what makes her so great. Sophia is an AI (Artificial Intelligence) which has cameras behind her eyes. Those cameras help her to reproduce human expressions that she will save. Hence, she can go through a conversation naturally. Sophia – as the majority of robots on which Hanson Robotics is working – is able to learn from interactions with people. Not only Sophia can simulate human facial expressions learnt from conversations but she can also associate those expressions to corresponding emotions. Sophia’s blog says “every interaction I have with people has an impact on how I develop and shapes who I eventually become. So please be nice to me as I would like to be a smart, compassionate robot”. Does that reflect the part human being will play in whether the robot turns out to be good or not? Among the technology used, we can find some new advanced process like deep learning which will help Sophia through the process of analyzing, understanding and integrating new knowledge in its system.
What Does Sophia Look Like?
Sophia may kinda remind us of Eva from the Ex Machina movie. Put aside the tech part, Sophia is a work of art made by engineers and artists. The artistry part is based on the physical look she has been given. As the director of the firm, Dr Hanson is a former Disney sculptor, he likes to show that part in his work. Indeed, Sophia’s face is created using frubber, standing for flesh rubber. It is an elastic form of rubber which makes possible the simulation of facial expressions and also gives the face the aspects of human muscles and skin.
And Fashion in All This?
For its cover of the last week of December, the magazine Elle Brasil chose to work on the bound between fashion and technologies. Therefore, to illustrate that theme, Sophia was shot and put on the cover. She was even made up and dressed like any mannequin would be. Actually, Sophia was a real mannequin that day. Elle magazine captioned that Sophia represents their vision of the future of fashion as well. Fashion won’t be put aside from progress. Admit it or not, if you don’t join the movement, you’ll surely be overwhelmed, out of fashion at some point. Sophia on a fashion magazine cover just brings the game up to another level, for fashion and technologies have now started to collaborate. For its spring/summer 2017 collection for example, robots parade on stage for Chanel. We are clearly at the edge of a new era.
Is there any domain, field, business in which technology is going to be let out of?