Cars are great for getting from place to place, all while providing things like music, air conditioning, a place to sit, windows, and a bunch of other super neat features that are just part of our normal lives at this point. They’re even beginning to drive themselves. But there’s still one thing they can’t do that Honda and SoftBank are working on: Talk about your feelings.
The plan is to create a car that can read its drivers emotions and converse with them, maybe making a road trip a bit less boring, providing support after a long day of work, or otherwise interacting with them in ways that we’re only used to doing with other humans.
“Imagine if robots, with their super intelligence, devoted themselves to humans,” SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said (via Fortune). “And imagine that cars themselves became supercomputers or robots one day. Honda will be the first to adopt this technology.”
Both companies are known for their work in human-like robotics—Honda with their humanoid robots like ASIMO and SoftBank with Pepper: “The world’s first personal robot that reads emotions”—so the partnership seems to make sense, but this scenario absolutely sounds like the start of a post-apocalyptic future in which humans are no longer the dominant entity on this planet.
We’re fascinated by the science and technology behind this, for sure, but Wikipedia’s page titled “AI takeovers in popular culture” is just a bit too long for us to be fully on board. Robots can already kill starfish, and we’ve mistreated the hitchhiking ones so badly that they’re trying to escape from our control, so perhaps we pump the brakes on this idea for now.
Featured Image: U.S. Department of State