At this year’s Milan Design Week, Sony demonstrates its vision in a new exhibition exploring how robots will enrich society and people’s lives. ‘Affinity in Autonomy’ envisions a world in which intelligence and technology is integrated more into our day to day lives; it looks further at the relationship between humans and robots. The exhibition explores the emotion, companionship and behaviour of robotics; how humans interact, co-exist both now and in the future and looks at the impact on our senses through technology
Since the creation of the world first Entertainment Robot, ‘AIBO’ in 1999, Sony has continued to grow its knowledge and understanding of AI and Robotics. The exhibition will run until April 14th, 2019 and explores Sony’s vision for life-enriching robotics. It looks at the future relationship humans can develop with robots capable of emotion; setting out to show that when humans feel that our robotic friends are alive, we will begin to feel an affinity toward them.
Attendees at the exhibition walk through different sensory ‘zones’ examining five key interactions between humans and robotics: Awakening, Autonomous, Accordance, Affiliation, Association. The first zone — Awakening (image above) — heightens sensory awareness whereby visitors experience a new type of intelligence shown on the wall embodied within light and sound. Visitors will be guided on a path to the future looking ahead to how we will interact with robots in unexpected and unimaginable ways.
The Autonomous space (image above) explores independence and free will of robotics with a pendulum taking centre stage. Guests are detected by the autonomous beings as they enter. It may make visitors question their feelings and responses in this situation.
Moving into a zone inhabited by ‘spheres’ — Accordance (main image) —, each of which has its own distinct personality, they interlink, cooperate, and act in accordance with those around them. The unpredictable movements of these robots can spark the formation of communities.
Through continual interaction with humans, robots will evolve both intellectually and emotionally – something experienced in the Affiliation room (image above). Starting to understand this symbiotic relationship, guests can imagine a future where robotics will have the appearance of being more alive.
Robotics will play an integral role in our lives, society and infrastructure in the coming years. The final part of the exhibition experience — Association (image below) — will ask, what are your thoughts on the future of affinity in autonomy?
Yutaka Hasegawa, Head of Creative Center comments, “Affinity in Autonomy’ shows the evolving relationship between humans and technology; a glimpse into what the future of AI x Robotics could look like – exploring robotic intelligence and emotion.”
“Since its inception back in 1961, Sony has been at forefront of design and innovation by keeping true to the founders’ doctrine of ‘Do what has never been done before’ and ‘Always stay one step ahead’” he adds. “Since the creation of the world first Entertainment Robot, ‘AIBO’ in 1999, Sony has continued to grow its knowledge and understanding of AI. The exhibition draws on Sony’s credentials in this field; with the evolution, emotion, and behavior of robotics prompting learning, growth and development with companionship playing a part.”