Video: A robot confronts the question of its own existence

Photo: Max Aguilera-Hellweg

While artificial intelligence might not yet have reached the levels of self-awareness depicted in Blade Runner 2049, this video of a real-life project to mimic human consciousness reveals a robot already grappling with the big questions.

“Am I alive? Do I actually exist? Will I die?” ponders talking head Bina48, captured here in philosophical mood conversing with her caretaker, Nick.

Bina48 was created for American entrepreneur Martine Rothblatt and modelled on the recorded thoughts and memories of her (human) wife, Bina. It’s an ambitious attempt to craft a naturally interacting ‘geminoid’ – an android made in the likeness of a real person – and one of six fascinating robotic projects documented over the past decade by photographer Max Aguilera-Hellweg that feature in the latest issue of Delayed Gratification magazine.

Along with Bina48, Aguilera-Hellweg also tells us about his experiences with CB2, a 4ft-tall ‘creepy’ baby, and Valkyrie, a prototype which Nasa hopes to develop into a team of humanoids to send to Mars. For more, and to see his amazing photos, grab a copy of DG #27, available now from our online shop.

 

Honed design, relaxed writing and an almanac approach to the passing years”
Observer

Jam-packed with information... a counterpoint to the speedy news feeds we've grown accustomed to”
Creative Review

A slower, more reflective type of journalism”
Creative Review

A chic magazine with fine infographics and long stories”
Die Zeit

A very cool magazine... It's like if Greenland Sharks made a newspaper”
Qi podcast

A fantastic publication that puts current events into perspective”
Qi podcast

Quality, intelligence and inspiration: the trilogy that drives the makers of Delayed Gratification”
El Mundo

Refreshing... parries the rush of 24-hour news with 'slow journalism'”
The Telegraph

A leisurely (and contrary) look backwards over the previous three months”
The Telegraph

Perhaps we could all get used to this Delayed idea...”
BBC Radio 4 - Today Programme

Everyone should read this magazine”
Stacks Magazine

Wonderful title and wonderful concept”
BBC Two