There has been much research of late warning that we’re all in danger of losing our jobs to androids, cyborgs or workbots (see my earlier post). How soon is this likely to happen? Well, they appear to be making excellent progress down under.
As you’ll see from this short video the HR department at the Australian Government Department of Finance is now replacing people with lifelike machines.
It’s obviously early days, so the androids find it a little bit awkward to walk and talk at the same time – their movements are quite jerky.
Their facial expressions are also very wooden, and inconsistent with the words coming out of their mouths – they deliver lines with a straight face when a real human would probably crack a smile…or collapse in a fit of uncontrollable laughter.
They also struggle with social interactions, greeting colleagues in ways that lack any sincerity. Conversation is also a bit of a challenge, with the exchanges very stilted and artificial.
Having said that they demonstrate impressive manual dexterity when handling cups of coffee and in the last scene the head robot does a great impersonation of a real person who has to read their lines from a screen. I was particularly surprised at their ability to walk up and down stairs, while talking, without stumbling.
In response to the challenge posed by these lifelike androids Australian broadcaster SBS has attempted to reproduce the same video using real humans. See what you think…but I have to say the robots do it better for me!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/45421351@N00/2324674522″>psculpture</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>