Nadine, the robot endowed with emotional intelligence, has been unveiled by experts at Nanyang Technical University (NTU), in Singapore.
The humanoid has been named Nadine in honor of Nadia Thalmann, professor of robotics at NTU’s School of Computer of Engineering, who was also its main developer.
The robot is currently working at the academic institution as a receptionist, constantly interacting with students, professors and other staff members. The purpose of this experiment is to see how Nadine fares in a natural setting, beyond the confines of a research lab.
So far, the robot with dark eyes and straight, brown hair has left everyone impressed, due to its abilities, which are nothing short of remarkable.
Apparently, Nadine can easily express herself just like a human being, given that it incorporates software reminiscent of digital assistants, such as Cortana (created by Microsoft) and Siri (developed by Amazon).
Moreover, the robotic woman’s entire behavior, marked by heart-warming agreeableness and politeness, is so eerily anthropomorphic that those who have been in her presence have been left in awe, and probably even a little perturbed, witnessing how far artificial intelligence has come.
Nadine the receptionist is equipped with such strong memory that she can quickly remember the persons she has already become acquainted with, and even refer to prior talks that she has had with those individuals.
Even more stunningly, the android appears to have emotional intelligence and fluid personality as well, changing her body language and altering her mood depending on how the conversation progresses, perfectly adapting her behavior on the person she interacts with.
Given that Nadine’s features are so extraordinary, being evocative of Star Wars’ C-3PO droid, it is hoped that more such personal assistants will be developed.
Socially adept robots could act like office workers, serve as babysitters or provide companionship and comfort to elderly people or to those requiring home care and rehabilitation.
It’s for the first time that an android exhibiting emotions so naturally and authentically has been presented to the public, but scientists at Nanyang Technical University haven’t stopped here with their admirable feats of creativity and innovation.
The researchers have also developed another humanoid called EDGAR, whose main selling point is that it can accurately mimic the gestures and motions of a human being, right as they are being executed. The android can just as effectively read texts or socialize with its companions, quickly adapting to different settings.
Since EDGAR is able to replicate its user’s words and nonverbal elements of communication instantly, and is also equipped with a webcam, allowing it to be accessed from various places, this is bound to result in unprecedented mobility and global reach.
Telepresence, which had been partially created through devices such as cameras, phones and other devices making video conferencing possible, now appears to be closer than ever to being fully achieved, depending solely on an active Internet connection, granting access to EDGAR’s command center.
This outstanding achievement has the potential to revolutionize both the academic and the business sector, because EDGAR can save precious time and resources, by permitting people to hold the same speech or presentation concomitantly, in different geographical locations.
Image Source: QZ