Kiwi startup Soul Machines reveals latest artificial intelligence creation, Rachel

A Kiwi company developing artificial intelligence has delivered its latest digital human, called Rachel.

Rachel can see, hear and respond to you.

She is an avatar created by two-time Oscar winner Mark Sagar, who worked on the blockbuster movie of the same name.

Mr Sagar, of Auckland-based company Soul Machines, says his aim is to make man socialise with machine, by putting a human face on artificial intelligence.

"So what we are doing with Soul Machines is trying to build the central nervous system for humanising this kind of computer," he says.

A favourite theme of Hollywood, the interaction between human and computer is already here in much simpler forms, from Siri on your iPhone to virtual assistants in your home.

China's third-largest technology company Baidu has just announced artificial intelligence is its major focus, including driverless cars.

Soul Machines' goal is just as complex - emotions. The startup's prototype was Baby X, which gets upset and needs reassurance when Mr Sagar hides, and can also recognise pictures.

The technology's advancing so quickly, a later version helps people in Australia with disabilities.

And the version after that is so detailed it has a warning on its Youtube video - this is not real.

Newshub.

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