Female Japanese robot Erica, who has an uncanny resemblance to human faces, is set to become the first humanoid news Anchor from April.
Robots are here! Amid all the speculation about robots entering the human world and performing tasks which humans have been performing until now, Erica is set to become the first humanoid TV news anchor this April. Erica has a fully functional speech system and can have conversations with people.
Before people could get over or forget Sophia, the female robot who appeared on the cover of London’s Stylist magazine’s 400th issue recently, another female robot has taken center stage. This time, the robot does not appear on the cover of a magazine, nor can it move its limbs. However, Erica has a fully functional speech system and can pass as a human pretty easily thanks to its almost human-like appearance.
Erica is supposed to become a TV news anchor from April. She will read out news reports selected by people in the agency. Erica can hold proper conversations, can identify the source of sounds in a room, and can distinguish when she is supposed to answer to the sounds using sensors and facial recognition systems.
Hiroshi Ishiguro, Erica’s creator, told the Guardian earlier that Erica has a soul and might one day have a consciousness of its own. Erica herself has stated in public that she considers herself to be a human socially, with most people addressing her as a human on most occasions. Apart from the fact that she will start working as a news anchor in April, not a whole lot is known about her job as of now. Erica is also supposed to be the voice in autonomous vehicles produced by a Japanese automobile company.
The robot looks like a usual 23-year old female from Japan. It is hard to tell that she is a robot just by looking at her. With Erica set to create history in a couple of months, people are considering whether this will set the gauntlet into motion for robots to start working with humans. The notion has been in discussion for many years now, with people saying it’s not a possibility but an eventuality.
While those in the scientific community are thrilled over such a prospect, a lot of people have expressed concerns about it. There are many who believe that robots might start taking over jobs from humans in the near future. With many parts of the world already suffering from major unemployment crisis, news about Erica’s impending debut as a TV news anchor will not come as something exciting. It comes as a foreboding for something ominous. Robots have already proven their worth in a few tasks like lifting heavy weights and delivering items.
There might really come a time when robots start displacing humans as the workforce due to better output and more efficient operation. But as many experts and proponents have suggested, robots aren’t just a piece of tech which only producers have to look after. Proper laws and systems have to be put in place so that robot and man conflicts never break out.
But as of now, even those absolutely against robots will want to witness Erica reading out news to the viewers.