Desdemona is her name, and she is a pop singer and a robot. Mechanical, life-size and driven by artificial intelligence (A.I.), she fronts the Jam Galaxy Band. While the musical group kicks out jazz-fusion tunes, Desdemona “sings” original, improvised poetry in real-time, on the fly. The effect is really more like spoken word voiced in a stiff feminine monotone with an accent that’s got a vaguely British-Aussie lilt. The band performed recently in Anaheim, California — The full performance is on YouTube.

Desdemona is the next-gen “little sister” of Sophia, the bald robot who garnered headlines a few years ago for her realistic, sentient-like, yet creepy, Happy Valley-esque and occasionally snappy conversational answers to questions posed by talk-show hosts and panel-discussion moderators around the world.

Desdemona was developed by Dr. Ben Goertzel, the chief scientist at SingularityNET who designed her A.I.program to mimic the language from books on artificial intelligence and the future that he had written. Hanson Robotics built the actual machine. While innovation, development and sophistication in robotics and A.I. continues and seems to accelerate with the roll-out of ever more nimble, realistic, impressive and more physically and computationally powerful machines, Desdemona shows that there’s still a long way to go before she can really “rock out” or hold a candle to the likes of the current pantheon of pop-music divas such as Lady Gaga, Beyonce or Ariana Grande. But someday, when she can, it may well be too late and at that time we may already be doomed.

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