Earlier this month, Furhat Robotics launched its face-swapping social robot after many years of development and prototyping, which began at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Unlike the majority of robots, Furhat isn’t built with any particular purpose in mind. In fact, that’s the whole point. The disembodied bust can look and sound like all kinds of different, virtual people; it can take on any number of personalities. It’s pitched as a new type of computer interface — more engaging and understanding than any screen or smart speaker or AI chatbot. And as CEO Samer Al Moubayed puts it, Furhat isn’t a replacement for people, but an answer to the absence of robots.
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