Larry has covered the technology and financial services industry since 1995, publishing articles in Wall Street Week.com, [email protected] Week, The New York Times, and Financial Planning magazine.
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Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site Tech Republic.
He and Cheok’s “I-Friends” will have a sophisticated module which will endow the software with emotions, personality and moods.“When I started out,” says David Levy, international chess champion and expert in artificial intelligence, “I didn’t know anything about artificial vaginas.It is quite extraordinary how much interest there is in that subject.”, is perhaps the fullest exploration of the future of humans and robots, especially their interaction in the bedroom.And this is where transmitting the other senses is so important.”Levy, 69, and Cheok, 42, have teamed up to work on a new “chat agent” – software that can understand and respond to natural human language and speech.The project, named I-Friend, will be based on artificial intelligence software that won Levy and his team the Loebner prize for a second time in 2009.“It could, for example, be an upmarket toy such as a furry animal or a creature from another planet; or a web avatar that repeatedly turns the conversation to discuss a company and its products; or a mobile app such as a virtual girlfriend or boyfriend.”Cheok adds: “In the first instance, it could probably replace all the phone sex for which people for some reason pay very high rates.” Ultimately, however, the aim would be for it to be “used in robots for artificial love and sex chat”.By kissing the screen, the movements of a person’s lips can be mirrored in the other machine and that kiss will be given to whoever has his or her mouth against a corresponding machine.The future, he says, will involve the subconscious part of the brain.Stephanie Condon is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in Portland, Oregon, covering business technology for ZDNet. She previously covered politics for CBSNews.com, as well as the intersection of technology and politics for CNET. “ELIZA did very little but caused a stir at the time and is well documented in the Artificial Intelligence literature.Our first chatbot program had the name Do-A-Lot because it did more than ELIZA.