This Robot Is Freaking People Out, And We Can't Blame Them
We think we’ve seen this movie before, and we didn’t like the ending.
In a viral video posted by robot manufacturer Engineered Arts, a robot is showing off its impressive—and expressive—skills in a way that’s terrifyingly close to being, well, human. In the video, the robot in question makes a series of expressions, showing off emotions and facial changes. There’s even a part when the robot examines its hand as if even it’s achieved consciousness.
Suffice to say, the reality of this technology is even cooler—and more chilling—than fiction. But not everyone is impressed.
Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk had one thing to say about the robot: “Yikes.” That pretty much sums up everyone’s reaction.
But before you panic, you should know that the video is not CGI and neither is it automated. The robot we see is pre-programmed, meaning that these reactions and facial movements were inputted to the robot as part of Engineered Arts’ research.
“Guy, calm down. Stop freaking out,” tweeted tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee. “It’s just a bunch of actuators and motors with rubber stretched over them to stimulate facial movement.”
But in the same tweet, Brownlee joked, “Internally: nope, nope, nope, nope, nope.”
While the future of human-like robots is indeed hair-raising, we ought to remember that we already have autonomous robots that are more terrifying: the AI-assisted robots armed with machine guns and explosives already being used in warfare.
In retrospect, a robot with human facial expressions seems to be the least of our problems.