It’s the stuff beloved of science fiction: a robot that looks and sounds like a human being. A robot you can chat with...
that recognises when you are sad, and that can cheer you up with its jokes.
But is that prospect so distant from reality? Samer Al Moubayed, and his colleagues at Furhat Robotics, are attempting to make it happen.
The “conversational AI and social robotics” startup, founded in Stockholm in 2014, has developed Furhat OS – an operating system that goes some way to allowing people to interact with machines the same way we interact with each other. The operating system doesn’t just enable you to have a conversation with a robot. It’s so sophisticated that the robots can read social signals and gauge your emotions.