For years, sci-fi movies and shows have been showing us a future where someone uses technology to bring back Albert Einstein. On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Lt. Barclay brings him back on the holodeck to help solve a puzzle. In Steven Spielberg’s film A.I., Einstein’s a library computer program called “Dr. Know.” Well, we are officially living in the future now. Because someone has created a virtual Einstein who answers questions from users. To interact with the Digital Einstein Experience yourself, be sure to click here.
Via Fast Company, we’ve learned about the New Zealand and Austin based company UneeQ, who made this possible. Together with Hebrew University, they’ve created a digital version of one of history’s most renowned genius and theoretical physicist. The simulated Einstein mimics his look, voice, and mannerisms. Or as close as they can get, based on somewhat limited examples of Albert’s recorded face and voice. Of course, the technology is not quite there to have truly open-ended chats with the virtual Nobel Peace Prize winner. Just remember, there are no dumb questions. (Well, almost none.)
Virtual Einstein’s release syncs perfectly with the 100th anniversary of the legendary physicist’s Nobel Peace Prize Award. As of right now, the new Einstein AI just answers very specific questions. Almost all center around general knowledge about Einstein’s life, work, and scientific facts. It’s not yet programmed to talk to you about the weather where you are, or what he thinks about Star Wars. (For the record, he was way dead when Star Wars came out.) But hey, we’re getting closer to a truly conversational A.I. bot. It’s just not going to be Einstein just yet. But if you’re just looking to chit-chat with a digital human, UneeQ has a program by the name of Sophie for that. Maybe don’t ask too many questions about quantum theory though.