Chinese Scientists Create World’s First ‘AI Child’

A group of Chinese scientists claims to have created the world’s first ‘AI child’, an entity displaying behavior and capabilities similar to those of a three- or four-year-old human child.

Named Tong Tong or ‘Little Girl’, the world’s first AI child is considered a massive step in the direction of AGI (Artificial General Intelligence). Unveiled at the Frontiers of General Artificial Intelligence Technology Exhibition, the innovative AI model is reportedly capable of autonomous learning and may display a level of emotional engagement that has not been seen in AI development until now. According to her creators at the Beijing Institute for General Artificial Intelligence (BIGAI), Tong Tong continually improves her skills and knowledge through interaction with humans and exploration.

“Tong Tong possesses a mind and strives to understand the common sense taught by humans,” a promotional video shown during the exhibition stated. “She discerns right from wrong, expresses her attitudes in various situations, and has the power to shape the future.”

During last month’s Beijing Exhibition, visitors could interact with Little Girl and observe her behavior based on her programming. For example, when programmed to prefer her surroundings tidy, the virtual avatar would fix a crooked photo on the wall, and even bring a stool to climb on to reach the frame if it was too high. If someone spilled milk during the simulation, she would bring a rag to clean it up.

However, one of the main things that set Tong Tong apart from other AI creations is that he has the power to independently assign tasks to herself based on her own values and ideals. Her creators claim that she is capable of autonomous learning and “has her own joy, anger, and sorrow”.

Little Girl can interact with people through facial expressions, gestures, and conversation. She is capable of identifying and communicating a variety of feelings like happiness, anger, and sadness, as well as reacting appropriately to others’ emotional states. Although she currently has the abilities and behavior of a three or four-year-old child, Tong Tong is evolving and improving continually.

“To advance towards general artificial intelligence, we must create entities that can comprehend the real world and possess a wide range of skills,” BIGAI director Zhu Songchun said.

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