While studying at the London College of Communications, photographer Luisa Whitton was commissioned to shoot her dream project: visiting the robotics lab of Japanese scientist Hiroshi Ishiguro.
Ishiguro is the director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory in Osaka, Japan and one of the world’s leading roboticists. For nearly a decade, Ishiguro has dedicated his life to creating the most lifelike android possible.
Once at the lab, Whitton was struck by the casualness of Ishiguro’s mission: create a robot that could replace himself. While working tirelessly to create robotic copies of himself, Ishiguro has been faced with the philosophical question of what it means to be human. He was characteristically blunt with Whitton.
“It’s a question of where the soul is. Japanese people have always been told that a soul can exist in anything and everything. We don’t make much distinction between humans and robots,” Ishiguro told Whitton.
Whitton shared some photos with us here, but you can check out the rest at her website. Whitton is currently raising money on Kickstarter to continue the project.
At the Intelligent Robotics lab, Ishiguro researches the potential for robots to have sonzaikan, which roughly translates to "human presence."
At the Intelligent Robotics lab, Ishiguro researches the potential for robots to have sonzaikan, which roughly translates to “human presence.”
Ishiguro has made numerous android replicas of himself. His goal is to eventually make one that could completely replace him. This is one of his replicas.
The latest version (shown here) is the Geminoid HI-4. It can mimic Ishiguro’s expressions through motion sensors and is capable of displaying a wide range of emotions. In theory, he could send the robot in place of himself to give speeches at conferences or conduct meetings.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider