Project Description

The android portrait of Philip K. Dick–an intelligent, evolving robotic recreation of the sci-fi writer who authored VALIS, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, UBIK, and many other masterworks. By resurrecting PKD as an android, we seek to realize genius-level AI with compassion and creativity. While we have a long way to go, even the early versions of the robot have made strong leaps forward towards this goal, resulting in an AAAI award for the AI systems, breakthrough abilities in robotic conversations and human-robot interaction, and world renown. The first version was built in 2005 by Hanson Robotics with David Hanson, Andrew Olney with the Fedex Institute of Technology team, the University of Texas at Arlington robotics institute, UT Dallas, and many other contributors, and captivated audiences at the WIRED Nextfest and the AAAI annual meeting. Unfortunately later that year the robot was lost in transit to a Google Tech Talk, and the project remained dormant for 3 years thereafter. This video shows the 2010 rebuild of the PKD android, this time built by Hanson Robotics with funding from VPRO, and collaboration from Bill Hicks, Dr. Kino Coursey, Doug Miles, Matt Stevenson and many others. He exhibits face perception, speech recognition, and conversational intelligence adapting Philip K Dick’s words and life history to generate new ideas during conversation with people.

As of 2012, the PKD android serves the Initiative for Awakening Machines (IAM), wherein the Open Cog team under the leadership of Dr. Ben Goertzel works with the Hanson Robotics and RoboKind teams, to make the leap to true artificial general intelligence (AGI). This work is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation and a Hong Kong City ITF grant. We intend to push the PKD android until it evolves super-human creativity and wisdom and transcends in a spiral of self-reinventing super-intelligence–what Philip K. Dick precognisciently described as a Vast Active Living Intelligence System, and what Vernor Vinge describes as the Technological Singularity. We predict this will occur sometime between 15 and 30 years from now.