Japanese scientists have developed a robot whose goal will be to turn into a science fiction film with a budget of several tens of thousands of dollars. Currently, this machine with artificial intelligence has learned techniques to play its role to perfection!

The Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to many film shoots. As the National revealed on June 25, 2020, a robot named Erica will star in a science fiction film called “b”. The production will be American with a budget of $ 70 million funded by Bondit Capital Media, Happy Moon Productions and Ten Ten Global Media.

At the origin of the robot Erica, we find Kohei Ogawa of the University of Nagoya (Japan), but especially the famous roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro. The latter is director of the Department of Adaptable Machine Systems at the University of Osaka. Already in 2005, he presented Repliee Q1Expo, a robot capable of interacting with humans. In 2018, the roboticist unveiled Ibuki, a humanoid robot with the appearance of a ten-year-old child who could move around to communicate and help people. Specialists in robots whose appearance and behavior are realistic, the researchers made Erica a real actress. Indeed, they have taught the artificial intelligence (AI) of the robot real actuation methods!

Obviously, the machine cannot use his personal experience to play, so the scientists started from scratch. Thus, they simulated his movements and his emotions through individual sessions. It was about controlling the speed of his movements and allowing him to express feelings. In addition, the researchers supervised the development of the character as well as the body language.

As for the film “b”, it will become the very first film whose main actor is a robot integrating an AI! The film tells the story of a scientist behind a program to increase human DNA. Realizing the dangers of his creation, the latter helps Erica to escape. So, Erica will have a human partner on the screen.

Finally, you should know that the creation of the Erica robot dates to 2015. However, this machine had already almost made its debut in a film directed by the British Tony Kaye, at the origin of American History X (1998). However, the project had been canceled. As for the film “b”, the scenes including the robot Erica were already filmed last year in Japan. The rest of the production will be in Europe in 2021.

Joseph Mandell

Mandell is currently working towards a medical degree from the University of Central Florida. His main passions include kayaking, playing soccer and tasting good food. He covers mostly science, health and environmental stories for the Scientific Origin.