For the first time, a humanoid robot with artificial intelligence will be the star of a feature film. And it’s not easy for an AI to play its own role …
Her name is Erica and she is a real robothumanoid animated by an artificial intelligence. She will play her own role as the star AI of a science fiction film. It is a first in the history of cinema, while in films humanoid robots are always played by actors with more or less talent, realism and special effects. For once, there will be no need to simulate the strange empty gaze of a robot with human features.
Simply called “b”, this $ 70 million budget film chronicles the adventures of a scientist who discovered the dangers of a code designed to improve human DNA. He helps Erica, the humanoid robot with an AI that he himself created, to escape.
When an AI plays its own role
Asked by The Hollywood Reporter, the producer of “b”, Sam Khoze explained that playing an AI is not simple. Human actors use their life experiences to play a role. However, AI does not have one, it had to start from scratch. It must be said that the Erica robot was originally imagined by the famous roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro and his collaborator Kohei Ogawa to present the TV newspaper in Japan. Two years ago, Erica did not know how to make movements and her bodily expressions were more than rudimentary. To teach Erica her role, it was necessary to carry out a lot of training sessions so that she could reproduce the expression of emotions through body language. And for the moment, the AI is far from perfect, even if it does not seem to scare the production companies funding this film.
Even today, despite its progress, the robot will not be able to play everything and the production is still looking for a real actress to replace Erica on certain stages. For the moment, only a few scenes with the robot have already been shot in Japan last year. The rest of the filming would be scheduled for 2021 in Europe.