Featured Artist: Hiroshi Ishiguro

Thu 3.9. – Sun 13.9
Ars Electronica Center

Geminoid HI-1
ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories

How can a person’s unique personality and essential character traits be captured, simulated and imparted to a robot? Scientists now promise to provide the solution in the form of complex artificial beings named geminoids. The name is derived from geminus (Latin: twin, couple) and the suffix “oid.” A geminoid is a robot created as a clone of an actual human being. The human-mechanical duo is linked together by innovative network & sensor technology, so the geminoid not only resembles its human model, it behaves like him too.

Hiroshi Ishiguro, professor at the University of Osaka and guest group leader at ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories, served as the model for HI-1, the very first geminoid. Since 2006, HI-1 and other geminoids have been used for purposes of research, which has essentially been following two approaches. Some projects concentrate on the development of a functional remote-control mechanism and the programming of movements that most closely resemble that way a human being naturally moves; others focus on cognitive modeling to investigate typical characteristics of humans—for instance, “human presence.” The combination of the two approaches leads ultimately to the development of robots that strongly resemble a human being and open up novel insights into human nature.

While robotics builds upon findings in the cognitive sciences in going about this and attempts to take mechanisms of successful human-human interaction and apply them to robots, cognition research is beginning to focus on the robots themselves. Scientists in this field are pursuing two main objectives: first of all, developing androids that look as human as possible, move like a human being and have human functions of perception; secondly, gaining new insights into those processes that control our “conscious and unconscious cognition.” After all, we perceive stimuli both consciously and unconsciously. When we observe other people, different regions of the human brain are activated. Sensory inputs are automatically compared with familiar human models, which forms the basis of our reactions. Furthermore, these unconscious processes are precisely what induce us to unthinkingly treat an android as if we were dealing with a human being. The reason for this is a central research question both in robotics as well as in other scholarly disciplines. The answers to it could serve as criteria for the development of androids and also deliver essential clues about those processes at work in the human brain that make us socially and emotionally controlled beings.

Geminoid Special Event – Future Dialogue-

Sat 5.9. 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Featured Artist Talk moderated by Gerfried Stocker

Sun 6.9. 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Featured Artist Talk moderated by Horst Hörtner

Mon 7.9. 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Featured Artist Talk moderated by Hide Ogawa


Director: Hide Ogawa, Martin Honzik
Sound: Daito Manabe
Visualization: Woeishi Lean
Geminoid System: Kohei Ogawa
Event System: Karl Schmidinger + Ars Electronica Festival Team

Special Thanks:
PHIE AMBO (Director of Mechanical Love)
Mechanical Love