Several systems engineers and computer-human behaviorists have been trying to find the right mix of robotic abilities and human interaction. Systems like Apple's Siri and Amazon's Alexa have given our devices a vocal personality but left a visual personality out of the equation. But humans are visual creatures, and in order to connect with a product, they have to visualize that personality.
MIT social robotics expert Cynthia Breazeal created Jibo, an 11-inch robot that's similar to Amazon's Alexa but shows visual emotion. For example, if someone shouts 'What the hell, Jibo?" (as I know you've all done with your iPhones), Jibo hangs its head showing it knows it's done something wrong and is in the process of learning what it should have done instead.
Jibo learns by listening and asking questions. Jibo uses machine learning, speech and facial recognition, and natural language processing to learn from its interactions with people. It can discern what you might like for dinner or even tutor your kids. But don’t expect him to become a friend or confidant. “The conversations we can have with these robots are so limited,” said Kate Darling, a social robotics researcher from MIT’s Media Lab. “Once you realize the robot isn’t as smart as you thought it was, it kind of breaks the illusion, and that’s a little disappointing for people.”
But it doesn't come cheap. The emotive little robot currently costs $749.