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New face of artificial intelligence revealed

Saturday 3 Aug 2013 6:05 p.m.

The new face of artificial intelligence has been revealed, and it's very cute.

When you think artificial intelligence, it's easy to think of characters like Hal from 2001, A Space Odyssey.

But now artificial intelligence has a new, much friendlier face – "Baby X" - an artificial brain fronted by a baby.

But don't be fooled. Behind those big blue eyes, there's a very smart artificial brain reacting to and learning from events as they happen.

Baby X is the brainchild of Dr Mark Sagar, who says it is processing information about surroundings and responding accordingly.

"It's seeing you, sensing you, and then it's processing that info and its making decisions on how to behave based on that," he says.

The processing going on behind the scenes is ridiculously complicated, as chemicals like dopamine are all virtually secreted.

The face is just one application, and the technology could also be used in advertising or for controlling the mood in a mall.

Mr Sagar says this is just step one, and he and his team at the University of Auckland university have big plans for the future of the artificial brain.

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