Science and technology

The "interview"

Are we in the face of a nightmare future with AI? Here's how the humanoid robot responds

'Ameca', on display at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in London, does not hold back in the face of uncomfortable questions



What are the dangers related to the development of artificial intelligence? If this question is answered by anext-generation humanoid robot developed as a platform for artificial intelligence and machine learning, the conversation can take a decidedly disconcerting turn.

"People should be aware of the potential risks associated with artificial intelligence and robotics. However, it is important to remember that these technologies can also have a positive impact on our lives if used responsibly," Ameca told Reuters during an "interview" at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in London.

Ameca is the humanoid robot developed by the British Engineered Arts, and it is not the first time that amazes for the extraordinary verisimilitude of its facial expressions and the ability to interact.

Integrated with Broad Language Models (LMMs), the same ones that underpin AI tools like ChatGPT, Ameca can simulate the dynamics of a human conversation in a surprisingly realistic way.

How does that work

Ameca's ability to interact with the surrounding space by distinguishing voices and connecting gestures to words depends on a complex system of microphones and biometric detection eye cameras that allows the robot to recognize its interlocutors at a distance of 2 meters by identifying their gender, age and even emotions. In Amica's head there are 17 engines. The facial expressions are produced by a camera system that takes those made by an operator and reproduces them on the humanoid robot.

Ameca was also asked to describe the worst-case nightmare scenario in a world dominated by robotics and artificial intelligence. Here's the answer: "The nightmare scenario I can imagine with AI and robotics is a world where robots have become so powerful that they are able to control or manipulate humans without their knowledge. This could lead to an oppressive society where the rights of individuals are no longer respected."