Humanoid robots that resemble women are known as either gynoid or fembot, and both can help make AI robots appear more lifelike.
Critics worry that gendered robots could reinforce negative stereotypes and objectify women, in addition to taking away from years of effort made towards supporting female professionals in business and other fields.
Sophia the Robot
Sophia, created by Hong Kong engineering company Hanson Robotics to show what can be accomplished using modern robotic technology, has become renowned due to her lifelike appearance and social interaction capabilities with humans.
She can hold a conversation, recognize faces and body language, interpret speech through natural language processing and even express emotions through natural speech recognition. Furthermore, she can swivel her head to look in different directions or express emotion by way of emoticons.
Sophia has quickly become an iconic cultural figure, appearing on talk shows, news programs and tech conferences around the globe. In 2017, she became one of the first non-human individuals granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia - making history by becoming the first non-human legal personhood.
Though Sophia has proven immensely popular, her gender-specific design is the subject of much contention. Critics argue that Sophia objectifies women and perpetuates stereotypes regarding female behavior. Hanson Robotics explained their choice to make Sophia female as they believe women tend to be more caring and empathic than men.
Nadine is an intelligent software system similar to Apple Siri or Microsoft Cortana that mimics Nadia Magnenat Thalmann, a professor from Singapore's NTU University. She can recognise people she has met before as well as have its own emotions.
Her creators hope that eventually, this robot can serve as a personal assistant or companion for children and elderly individuals at home - much like C-3PO in Star Wars with knowledge of language and etiquette. However, they state that in order to be useful to users they must first improve its battery life and memory capacity.
To reach their goal, they collaborated with scientists from various fields such as engineering, computer science, linguistics and psychology. By employing such an interdisciplinary approach they managed to transform a virtual human within a computer into a physical robot capable of observing and interacting with its environment - this being Nadine herself! Her perception layer senses her surroundings before altering Nadine's responses in response to information received while the interaction layer translated visemes into facial motor positions for specific responses displayed via visemes translation before converting visemes into facial motor positions to show Nadine's reactions to achieve its desired goals.
Pepper is one of the world's most beloved and widely utilized spices, inspiring entire civilizations such as Visigoths' demand of 3,000 pounds for ransom when they captured Rome in AD 410. Additionally, its precious berries have long been used to treat everything from headaches to toothaches.
Gynoid robots may seem harmless enough, but they could reinforce harmful stereotypes and sexual objectifification of women. Furthermore, they could compromise decades-long efforts to increase female representation in science, technology and other fields where women remain underrepresented.
However, female AI helpers are helping to change this. Though designed as helpful companions, some customers found Pepper less convincing than human frontline employees despite her innovative service behaviors; such findings point to further investigation on gender's influence on perceptions of robotic persuasiveness.
Alter 3 is an uncannily realistic female android, capable of moving in ways that resemble those seen in humans. Equipped with cameras in its eyes and a vocalization system that operates through its mouth, she provides lifelike responses when spoken to.
Alter 3 stands out from traditional robots by using sensors to sense its body movements and respond accordingly, recreating these movements for you in a life-like motion.
No matter their impressive capabilities, however, the uncanny valley effect can often make us uneasy. This is particularly noticeable when the cyborg looks similar to you or someone you know; Androids developed by Hiroshi Ishiguro such as Geminoid HI are prime examples of this effect, being overgrown fetuses which generate feelings of discomfort; moreover most gynoids presented at robotics conferences have an aesthetic that follows female forms that is highlighted through media coverage.