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Artificially intelligent humanoid robot 'Erica' nabs lead role in $70 million Hollywood sci-fi movie

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The next Marilyn Monrobot? Artificially intelligent humanoid ‘Erica’ nabs the lead role in a $70 million Hollywood sci-fi movie

  • The eerily human-like robot with play the role of a superhuman in the film,’b
  • The character will go on the run with the scientist who helped to create her
  • Erica — who made her public debut in 2015 — can talk, recognise faces and blink
  • She shot her first scenes for the film last year, with production to resume in 2021

An artificially intelligent humanoid robot has nabbed the leading role in a $70 million (£56.4 million) upcoming Hollywood sci-fi movie, titled ‘b‘.

Erica, the eerily human-like android actress, will play the role of a genetically-modified superhuman who goes on the run with the scientists who created her.

The electric leading lady is understood to have shot her first scenes for the movie in Japan last year — with the rest of the film scheduled to be shot next year. 

An artificially intelligent humanoid robot has nabbed the leading role in a $70 million (£56.4 million) upcoming Hollywood sci-fi movie, titled' b'. Pictured, Erica, the robot starlet

An artificially intelligent humanoid robot has nabbed the leading role in a $70 million (£56.4 million) upcoming Hollywood sci-fi movie, titled ‘ b ‘. Pictured, Erica, the robot starlet

Erica — who made her public debut back in 2015 — is the brainchild of roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro of Japan’s Osaka University, who calls his creation the world’s ‘most beautiful and human-like android.’

The AI-powered android resembles a 23-year-old woman and — while unable to move around by herself — can tilt her head and blink, sports a sophisticated speech synthesiser and can use her array of infrared sensors to recognise people.

Her first appearance on the silver screen is the result of a deal with Los Angeles-based Life Productions, a firm that specialises in artificial intelligence artists.

Despite likely having the advantage on her to-be-announced co-stars when it comes to learning lines, Erica still has character work to do in preparation for the role.

‘In other methods of acting, actors involve their own life experiences in the role. But Erica has no life experiences,’ Life Production’s founder Sam Khoze told The Hollywood Reporter.

‘We had to simulate her motions and emotions through one-on-one sessions, such as talking through her feelings and coaching character development.’

Erica — who made her public debut back in 2015 — is the brainchild of roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro of Japan's Osaka University, who calls his creation the world's'most beautiful and human-like android.' Pictured, Professor Ishiguro, left,  with Erica, right

Erica — who made her public debut back in 2015 — is the brainchild of roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro of Japan’s Osaka University, who calls his creation the world’s ‘most beautiful and human-like android.’ Pictured, Professor Ishiguro, left,  with Erica, right 

Dr Ishiguro has been trying to land roles on television for Erica since 2014 — and two years ago it was announced that the robot had secured a position as a newsreader.

Financing for ‘b‘ is being organised in part by Bondit Capital Media, whose previous ventures have included the Oscar-nominated animation ‘Loving Vincent’, which explored the life of Van Gogh, the noted Dutch post-impressionist painter.

Happy Moon Productions of Belgium and New York’s Ten Ten Global Media will also be providing funding for the film. 

WHO IS ERICA THE ROBOT?

Roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro, director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University created Erica the robot.

The Erica project is the result of collaboration between Osaka and Kyoto universities.

She was developed with money from one of the highest-funded science projects in Japan, JST Erato.

Although she is unable to move her arms she can work out where sound is coming from and knows who is asking her a question

Although she is unable to move her arms she can work out where sound is coming from and knows who is asking her a question

Although she is unable to move her arms she can work out where sound is coming from and knows who is asking her a question. 

She is meant to be a 23-year-old human and has one of the most advanced speech synthesis systems ever developed.

Using 14 infra-red sensors and face recognition technology Erica can track people in a room.

Her ‘architect’ Dr Dylan Glas, says that Erica has learnt jokes, ‘although they’re not exactly side-splitters’, he added.

‘What we really want to do is have a robot which can think and act and do everything completely on its own’, he said.

As well as learning to develop compassion, Erica is also pipped to be a Japanese news presenter sometime this year, and could make a national debut in April.

According to her creator, who also refers to himself as Erica’s ‘father’, this robot can be warm and caring, and may soon have an ‘independent consciousness’.

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