On Nov. 4, Dalian reported one new locally transmitted COVID-19. Last week it counted 62 confirmed infections and 70 asymptomatic carriers.
Chinese citizens are used to taking coronavirus tests, but this time Dalian residents in the province of Liaoning had an unexpected encounter with a young girl guiding them to the sample collection site: a humanoid robot.
“Please hold your health code and ID card. Let’s actively cooperate with the medical staff and quickly curb the epidemic together. Fighting!”, said the robot speakers.
The robot, standing at the EX Future Science and Technology Museum in Jinshitan, gestures and speaks in a quasi-human manner. It almost seems like a character coming out from the Japanese comic Neon Genesis Evangelion.
A few years ago another humanoid robot made headlines. “Jia Jia”, as it was called, could hold a simple conversation and make simple facial expressions.
Jia Jia was created by a team of engineers at the University Of Science and Technology of China.
Chen Xiaoping, the team leader, believes that within a few years AI robots will be working in Chinese restaurants, nursing homes, hospitals, and households.
Chen does not think robots will be a threat to humanity. “As long as this is done in a step-by-step and controlled manner, I don’t think there will be a big impact on society. It won’t harm human beings,” he said.
However, the Chinese government is already looking for young talent to develop AI robots for its army.
“We are looking for other qualities such as creative thinking, willingness to fight, and persistence when facing challenges,” he said. “A passion for developing new weapons is a must … and they must also be patriots”, said a Beijing Institute of Technology Professor.