Japan Has Birthed a New Life Form: The Drunk Android

Japanese researcher Takashi Ikegami has built an AI-infused android he sees as the start of a new species.

Hello World Japan: The Future Is a Drunk Robot

Japan has a unique fascination with androids and the quest to make robots more like humans. One of the country’s most original thinkers in this area is Professor Takashi Ikegami of the University of Tokyo. He has created androids filled with sensors and artificial intelligence software. The technology allows them to perceive the outside world and react to it as they see fit.

Hello World host Ashlee Vance traveled to Tokyo to meet with Professor Ikegami and see his latest android creation. The robot they encounter flails about and makes strange gurgling noises as it responds to their movements and conversation. While it all looks rudimentary today, the technology is the precursor of what Ikegami predicts will be a new robotic life form that has its own culture, language, and desires. What could go wrong?

— With assistance by Ashlee Vance

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