Tokyo store employs ultra-real robot guaranteed to creep you out

You have to give it to Japan — they know how to hit the sweet spot between science and creepy. Case in point: this android receptionist.

The Tokyo department store Mitsukoshi Nihombashi has installed a new android named Aiko Chihira, who serves as the front desk greeter while sporting a dazzling array of snazzy outfits (this is still a department store, you know). The 1.0 version of Aiko can already greet customers and give directions — but Toshiba is working to add more features to put a little more “I” in the AI.

At the moment, this is mostly a semi-creepy publicity stunt aimed to showcase new clothes and add some novelty to a Tokyo department store. But it’s also a fascinating look at the way we add personality, sexuality and gender to artificial creations. No, Aiko has a long way to go until she rivals something like Ex Machina’s Ava, but it’s still interesting to watch the intersection of all these things as they happen. 

Check out the android in action below and let us know what you think:

(Via Popular Science)

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