We've seen the future -- and it's actually, like, really friendly.
Scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have debuted a new humanoid robot: a chill, if a bit chatty, receptionist named Nadine.
Her conversational skills (arguably better than your college boyfriend's) are powered by software similar to Apple's Siri or Microsoft's Cortana. She's able to remember the identities of her companions, respond to their statements and experience "happy or sad" emotions. She can, for all intents and purposes, hold a conversation.
While it's no replacement for human interaction, Thalmann said that the creation of these friendly, "chatty" robo-pals can be the answer to a lot of the very human challenges of the ~future~.
"As countries worldwide face challenges of an aging population, social robots can be one solution to address the shrinking workforce, become personal companions for children and the elderly at home, and even serve as a platform for healthcare services in future," Thalmann said in a news release from NTU. “This is somewhat like a real companion that is always with you and conscious of what is happening. So in future, these socially intelligent robots could be like C-3PO, the iconic golden droid from Star Wars, with knowledge of language and etiquette.”