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Talking about the future - A very special robot

• Lucy is a baby in many ways. She has no legs, so she can’t walk, but she can make sounds like a baby (her favorite word is ‘Arp!’).
She moves her head and arms like a baby. And Lucy learns like a baby because she can think.

• In fact, Lucy looks more like an orang-utan than a human baby. But she is different from other computer robots for another reason – she is not programmed. She uses her five ‘brains’ to think and move. The brains are five regular household computers that ‘feed’ her. There is no special software. She learns one step at a time – just like a baby learns. She watches things with her one ‘eye’ – a digital camera. Her intelligence builds slowly – very slowly – just like human baby’s intelligence.

• How intelligenti s Lucy? Well, she is still pretty stupid for a baby (she was ‘born’ in 2000), but she is very intelligent for a machine. She is learning more sounds, and she can point at a picture of a banana (very important fora n orang-utan). On a good day, Lucy even knows the difference between a banana and an apple.

• Lucy’s ‘father’ is artificial intelligence scientist Steve Grand. He says that Lucy looks like a baby orang-utan, and not a human baby, because he thinks it looks less scary than a human robot. He also thinks people except too much from robots that look like humans. He hopes that one day Lucy can go to ‘Kindergarten’.

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