Vain robot chides humans for not taking complimentary selfies

Taking a selfie with Jia Jia can be a tricky affair, as it (or she?) will chide you if the angle makes her face appear too big.
PHOTO: Youtube screengrab @New China TV

The divide between humans and robots is narrowing. As we add prosthetics and exoskeletons suits to our bodies, robots are looking more like humans, complete with eyelashes and skin.

The latest robot to bridge that divide is Jia Jia, hailing from China. Built by a team from the University of Science and Technology of China, Jia Jia can respond to questions, with facial expressions to boot.

As a female robot, it can be quite vain. Taking a selfie with Jia Jia can be a tricky affair, as it (or she?) will chide you if the angle makes her face appear too big.

"Don't come too close to me when you are taking a picture. It will make my face look fat," she says robotically.

For all her vanity and artificial intelligence, Jia Jia still appears to be quite stiff.

Despite looking nearly indistinguishable from humans, her robotic voice is a giveaway although solving these superficial factors should not be too difficult.

According to technology website Engadget, the research and development team took three years designing Jia Jia to give her natural facial expressions.

Describing Jia Jia as a 'robot goddess', team director Chen Xiaoping said: "We hope to develop the robot so it has deep learning abilities. We will add facial expression recognition and make it interact more deeply with people."

There are no plans for mass production at the moment, so rest assured, mankind will not be wiped from the surface of earth too soon.

The unveiling of Jia Jia comes in the wake of other advances in robots from the Far East, which is home to robots like Erica from Japan, and Mark 1, a Scarlett Johansson-lookalike from Hong Kong.

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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