More synthetic people news from Japan
I mentioned President Obama’s meeting with a robot during his recent trip to Japan. I talked about how that country seems to have a more positive, accepting view of robots than the USA does.
Here are two more exhibits in the argument.
First, there’s the J-pop rock star, Hatsune Miku. She sells out stadiums…and she has no physical presence. That’s right, Miku is a hologram. She performs on stage with a live band. She is not voiced by a singer backstage…she uses a speech combining program, similar to Vocalizer, which is used by Amazon’s Kindle to do text-to-speech. Voice artist Saki Fujita (Yozakura Quartet) recorded sounds that are then recombined into new words…allowing Miku to sing songs unknown to Fujita.
You can see her perform here:
Less successful is robot actor Geminoid F. This one is an avatar for a backstage performer. Geminoid has been appearing in a play opposite human actors.
Ironically, the original robots in Karel Čapek‘s R.U.R. (the play that coined the term) were what we would now call androids. They weren’t mechanical, Robby the Robot types…they were synthetic humans. So, humans have played “robots” on stage for decades…but robots playing humans may not be as well accepted. Hardly seems fair, does it? 😉
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.