Image Metrics can make lifelike images of peoples faces that can be realistically manipulated in real time. The appearance and movements are perfect but such simulations cost $500,000 to construct for each person.
Researchers working on Project Lifelike are trying to integrate a camera into their digital Schwarzkopf so that it can pick up visual clues from people’s body language and adapt its behaviour accordingly. Hanson Robotics is yet more ambitious. They make realistic-looking androids, and David Hanson and Mayer have discussed integrating one of Lifenaut’s avatars into a robot body. “Combining a mind emulation with a physical body allows that mind to physically interact with the world, to explore and live among us,” he says.
That’s a step towards making a conscious machine, but to go further will require a massive, coordinated effort involving the now fragmented areas of AI research. To this end, Hanson has launched the Apollo Mind Initiative to promote collaboration between research groups, setting the goal of achieving human-level creative intelligence by 2019. His first step is to launch collaborative software for the machine intelligence community, enabling scientists to map exactly what stage research has reached and help them identify which improvements need to be made. Hanson says that the project’s eventual aim is to exceed human intelligence, creating Mozart-like genius. “In a way we’re looking for protégé machines,” he says.
Anders Sandberg’s Google Talk on Brain Emulation