Microsoft is teaching robots and AI how to interact with humans

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Everything that movies and popular fiction ever taught you to expect from robots and AI is coming to fruition, thanks to the work being done at places like Microsoft Research. Redmond’s research arm published yesterday a report called Can Robots Have Social Intelligence?, which details the work that they have been undertaking in that direction.

The short answer is that Microsoft believes that they can and their Situated Intelligence project is a way of trying to give robotic and AI units the ability to interact with human beings in a manner similar to how we all interact with each other. Humans don’t just communicate verbally, there’s a lot going on with gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice that robots just don’t have the ability to analyse but there are people working on that.

The team behind Situated Intelligence have, in the video below, demonstrated a smart elevator that can arrange that the lift is waiting for people who look like they might like to change floors, a robot that gives directions to passers-by by means of gestures and which attempts to read human expressions in an attempt to seem more human in its interactions.

The directions robot also notifies the AI personal assistant outside project lead Erik Horvitz’s office that people are on the way and the AI system offers a pretty convincing representation of human interaction when they get there. Microsoft uses a wide range of sensors and a lot of software technology to create these reactions but it’s just the surface of what they think will be possible in future.

Source: Microsoft Research via Engadget

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