If this presentation doesn’t stun you into a state of awe, nothing will. This is years in the making and makes previous AI models a far cry by comparison. Soul Machines not only developed a visually realistic virtual person, but they also gave it a brain and a semi-complex circulatory system as well.
Mind you, the virtual person’s brain isn’t as complex as an actual human brain, but it’s a work-in-progress. What it does provide, however, is an intricate emotional input/output system that allows it to not only recognize emotional cues from other people but subsequently provide a fitting emotional response as well. And because it has a circulatory system, including lungs for “oxygen,” it’s able to have conversations with you that are downright human, responding in a manner that allows the virtual person to know when to breathe and when not to.
When you make an abrupt sound, you’ll startle this virtual person. When you smile, they’ll smile. When you’re recognizably sad, the virtual person will respond accordingly. The baby virtual person is especially entertaining to watch, as it operates just like an actual human baby would. It learns through visual and vocal stimuli, using the world of which it sees and hears as its medium for intelligence building.
What’s even more impressive is the way people respond when interacting with these virtual persons. The realism invoked by them practically destroys the uncanny valley that most AI and virtual persons suffer from. The people interacting are neither frightened nor turned off; they’re fully immersed in it, treating it as though they were a real person. Which is what’s most important.
The future of AI will also be the future of humanity. How it interacts with us and how we interact with them will ultimately determine the fate of both species. Do we accept them as they develop general intelligence or do we brush them aside and remain dogmatic about our own “superiority?” Whatever we choose, just know that the AI of sci-fi is almost here and we best be ready for them.