Meet ChihiraAico, Toshiba's scarily realistic 'Robot Hostess' Android unveiled at CES 2015

Robot geisha unveiled by Toshiba at CESIBTimes UK

If you don't like artificial intelligence, you might want to look away now. Electronics manufacturer Toshiba is currently showing off a new android robot at CES in Las Vegas that looks, talks, sings and cries like a Japanese woman, and it's just a bit creepy.

ChihiraAico is a humanoid robot made to look like a 32-year-old Japanese hostess. She is a prototype the company is developing to help create "effective communication between humans and non-humans".

The first prototype of the robot was showcased in October at CEATEC Japan 2014, a Japanese trade show, and at the time, the Android could only communicate in simple Japanese sign language.

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But now the souped-up version is able to introduce herself in English and gesture like a human.

"We chose a very realistic appearance and movement, which can be used for the service industry. We plan to extend our technology to an automatic response," said Hitoshi Tokuda, manager of marketing for Toshiba's business development division.

"We plan to use [ChihiraAico] with elderly people who have conditions such as dementia and she can be connected to a counsellor or doctor."

Toshiba's new android may not be going down well with CES show attendees, but you could ask: is she more, or less unnerving than Otonaroid and Kodomorid, the adult woman and female child humanoid robots introduced at the Miraikan museum in Tokyo last June?

ChihiraAico's eye movements are startlingly realistic and just might beat Otonaroid, but her movements are slightly more jerky.

Japan's clearly on a roll with robot production – apart from the Miraikan humanoids, Honda's ASIMO was able to play a round of football with President Obama, while SoftBank released a personal robot called Pepper that is programmed to communicate and entertain humans.

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