Social robot’ Nadine can converse with people, adapt their responses and remember previous conversations

Social robot’ Nadine can converse with people, adapt their responses and remember previous conversations

There is a terrifyingly lifelike ‘social robot’ called Nadine that looks and acts like its owner. Nadine sits behind the welcome desk at a Singapore university as a receptionist and is causing a stir. The robot has mousy, shoulder-length hair neatly parted sideways.

It very well remembers what you talked about last time she saw you and greets you saying a friendly hello. However, there is something odd about Nadine. She is among the latest in a line of so-called ‘social robots’, having personalities and emotions of their own.

Nadine has been touted as the latest on in a generation of robots with a capability of conversing with people, adapting their responses and remembering earlier conversations. Professor Nadia Thalmann, director of the Institute for Media Innovation at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore is the creator of the advanced robot.

Professor Thalmann said that the humanoid has a personality of her own and can very well depict mood swings and emotions. In a video, the robot has been featured answering questions of her creator in a pseudo-emotional computerized Scottish accent.

Professor Thalmann said the robot that ‘You are a beautiful and attractive social robot, to which Nadine replied saying ‘Thank you. You look attractive too’.

Furthermore, the android can react to negative sentiments appropriately. For example, when Professor Thalmann said her ‘I hate you’, Nadine replied positively saying ‘Tell me more about that’.

Eurekalert reported that, such social robots are ideal for use at public venues, such as tourist attractions and shopping centres, as they can offer practical information to visitors.

Led by Assoc Prof Gerald Seet from the School of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and the BeingThere Centre at NTU, this made-in-Singapore robot represents three years of research and development.

Forbes report said, Nadine is not only human-like in general: she’s actually a doppelganger – a clone, if you will – of her creator, professor Nadia Thalmann, with the same soft skin and flowing brunette hair.

Appearance is not the only thing that sets her apart from other robots: she (or it) features also what we might call a ‘personality’: she can recognize the people she has met, remember what they have said before and, researchers claim, she can be happy or sad.

According to the ABC News, Scientists at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have unveiled "Nadine," a socially intelligent, human-looking robot complete with "her own personality, mood and emotions," according to a university news release.

The humanoid "receptionist" was presented at a new media showcase Tuesday at NTU, where her human creator, professor Nadia Thalmann, predicted that "physical social robots such as Nadine are poised to become more visible in offices and homes in future."


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