I, Philip: Conversing Robot Could Be Step Closer to Living Androids, Developer Says


Some Critics Say Prototypes Like Philip Are Gimmicks

What's astonishing is that Philip has a bit of self-awareness and the beginnings of a personality.

"It feels weird to be a robot sometimes," Philip said. "You know, like I shouldn't exist outside of a science fiction story. It makes me wonder if this is actually real like if it isn't a dream or a story being written by a science fiction writer. Right now, in some crusty old apartment in Oakland, a grizzly old fellow is listening to his imagination and we're only in his brain. That the kind of thing I wonder when they leave me all night alone in a dark laboratory. My mind just races about these things."

There are some critics in the robotics community who think prototypes like Philip are gimmicks at best, and at worst, dangerous. They say robots will never be truly human, and therefore they shouldn't be created to look like us -- that it's better to let a machine look and act more like a machine.

Hanson vehemently disagrees and believes if we want robots to be our friends, and he does, they need to be more like us and less like machines in every way.

"If we're going to achieve compassion in the machines and also feel safe with the machines, to raise machines with human-like values, we need to make them human-like, by simulating or perhaps eventually, imitating human beings in high accuracy from top to bottom," he said.

ABC News' Lauren Effron contributed to this report.

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