Facial recognition, gestures, smell, analytics… Wait. Wasn’t this the same company that spent $775m to buy the maker of Tay, its AI-powered (say it out loud) friend who was introduced as the first intelligent machine that could understand that humans are pathetic, dumb, lonely and vain? We are still waiting.
Well, it looks like Amazon is tackling similar territory on the other side of the species barrier with a new robot dog that has eye-swells in the background. And do you really think this would ever go past Amazon’s safety whizziest director, Greg Walton?
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Like Tay, The Alexa-enabled Astro can recognise human faces, and gets creative with what it chooses to learn and analyse. So, if you’re going to play your Amazon cards full of heart, wait till you see what ‘face’ types are in your household.
Naughty, naughty, naughty
Pet owners with Alexa can add Astro to their family by saying “Alexa, talk to Astro” – and those who have access to an Echo device can order them on their way with an Echos Wish List.
The physical design of Astro matches the latest line of Amazon’s huge range of robotic paraphernalia – we mean the range – with a rounded head and broad back for hanging around the house. If he’s not quite the faithful housemate that Amazon’s been promising, he could soon be perfect for babysitting…