Death-Fearing Millionaire Commissions Immortal Robot - No, Really

If you’re not good and rested, take a nap before continuing with this article – because you’re never gonna sleep again.

Bina and Martine Rothblatt are an extraordinarily wealthy couple concerned with human immortality. Martine is involved in the Terasem Movement, which explores immortality “via geoethical nanotechnology and personal cyberconsciousness.” In short, the Rothblatts are really keen on not dying. I don’t blame them – I too am pretty stoked about this whole ‘life’ thing I’ve got going on.

In an attempt to immortalize herself for her partner, Bina has contracted Dave Hanson of Hanson Robotics to build a robotic likeness. And O M G, what a likeness it is. You’re not gonna like this. Unless you like scary things. Then you’ll love it.

Bina48 is an ‘AI’ (more really a search engine or something, whatever) that references hours and hours of interviews with the real Bina to construct a personality not unlike that of its namesake. The robotic head wherein this mechanism is entombed provides an avatar and, altogether, the system allows Bina to ‘live’ forever. While it’s a little crude, it’s pretty impressive, and a total steal for $125000. Fine work, Dave. Good job. Good work.

But man. Bina48 is TERRIFYING. You’re aware of the Uncanny Valley, right? Go ahead and learn yourself some Wikipedia. I’ll wait. Bina48 is the scariest marvel of technology I’ve seen in months, and I’m willing to bet I won’t see anything scarier for a longer time still. If I was a kooky millionaire set on living forever, I’d be more concerned with not scarring my great-grandchildren for life than accuracy.

You’d best believe I brought a video of this terror in action.

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Written by Ty Dunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.
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6 Comments »

 
#1
Matt
July 14th, 2010 at 10:37 am

It’s a bit unsettling when the robot defines friendship as two people cooperatively taking over the world.

 
 
#2
Megan
July 20th, 2010 at 8:37 am

I am glad I wasn’t the only one who found that unsettling haha

 
 
#3
Jason
July 14th, 2010 at 10:48 am

I don’t know what is creepier, the robot itself or the fact the robot has a lazy eye!

 
 
#4
JT
July 14th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

anyone else think this is just a poorly made animatronic head with a rubbish voice

 
 
#5
Showman
July 19th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Been there done that… 2005 this was done posthumously for/about/around writer Phillip K Dick.
http://www.pkdandroid.org/

there are youtube vids of it in action…

more fun.. it was stolen!

 
 
#6
Joseph
August 14th, 2010 at 9:19 pm

I love how it lumps “building a better future” with “conspiring to take over the planet”. Like the NWO people took over the programming.

 

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