IoT and AI: Uber With a Human Face

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IoT and AI: Uber With a Human Face

Back in 2005, the producers of the TV series Arrested Development came up with the idea of a human stand-in for the crook businessman George Bluth, who was in jail. An actor wearing a baseball cap with the word SURROGATE stenciled on the brim. The cap also carries a small camera and microphone, which transmit audio and video feeds in real-time to George Sr’s computer and/or television. George has a voice feed back to the surrogate, so that he can tell Larry what to do, what to say on his behalf, where to go, etc.

ChameleonMask IoT and AI

More than a decade later, Japanese researchers showed off what they call a ChameleonMask, in which someone straps a screen to their face and fills in for someone else. A surrogate user wears a mask-shaped display that shows a remote user’s live face, and a voice channel transmits a remote user’s voice. Immediately dubbed the “Human Uber” by journalists, the technology, the developers believe their system to have inherent benefits over telepresence robots currently in use since humans do not need to be controlled remotely. “Our pilot study confirmed that people could regard the masked person as a right person,” the project leader, Jin Rekimoto, said at MIT Tech Review’s EmTech conference this week.

Author: Tim Cole
Image Credit: ChameleonMask

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