This is the weirdest thing you'll read about all weekend. The story is a bit convoluted, but it involves a robot, previously used and cast as a leading character in a Japanese play entitled Sayonara, and roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro.
The robot in question is Geminoid F, created by Osaka University's Intelligent Robotics Laboratory. A few years ago, Geminoid F starred in Sayonara as an android caregiver who comforts and reads poetry to a dying woman. This is a picture of the mechanical actor, seated on stage.
Hard to distinguish between human and android, right? Audience members were fooled to say the least. Now for a twist in the story. It turns out the man who runs Intelligent Robotics Laboratory, 51-year-old Ishiguro, decided to fashion a robot in his own image about a decade ago.
“When I made my copy, I was 41 years old," Ishiguro told the Globe and Mail. " . . . of course, I’m getting old and androids never get old." That's why he's been surgically altering his own face to look identical to his ever-youthful robot twin.
Of course, Ishiguro also has the option of creating a new android with his aged appearance, but he doesn't "like to get old and actually ... the cosmetic plastic surgery is much cheaper." Watch Ishiguro's robot come to life in this TEDxSeeds talk from 2012. It's eerie how human-like the android is. Hit the "cc" button for subtitles.
[via The Globe and Mail]