Cyborg Expression

This is about a true partnership between AI and Human, with the end result better than either could achieve alone.

Human-Centric AI

We’re at the forefront of formulating and codifying AI Ethics and Cyborg Rights – we have to be.

Cyborg Movement

Cyborg Movement is in fact AI taking on the near total chaos that is the real world.  

We envision an AI system to listen to what is going on and then prompt the user, like a SatNav, with say three alternative suggestions according to different criteria. Users will then kick off the response they want their own-voice synthesiser to use as a background subroutine while they are typing a customised insert to slot-in after the space-filler – using a hugely-predictive text engine customised to the current context and personalised to their individual style.

 

We also envision the AI system being clever enough to judge which synthesised emotions it should use for different words – conversational, loud, intimate.

 

Of course, what the synthesiser ends up saying may not be the response, the expressiveness, even the vaguely similar idea, the user would have said unaided. But part of our research will be to experiment with how users can use such collaborative Human-AI technology potentially to make them appear cleverer, or funnier, or simply less-forgetful, than they were before.

So, in place of ‘Verbal Spontaneity’, read ‘Intelligence Amplifier’.

Verbal Spontaneity

Lama Nachman

Intel Fellow and Director of Anticipatory Computing Lab.

Human Meets AI - ZDNet

Human Cyborg - Intel

AI and GPT-2 - Communication System

“Developing a response generation system that can listen to a conversation, be nudged by limited user input, and learn from minimal personal data, is an unsolved research problem at the intersection of AI and human-computer interfaces that has profound implications for Extreme Disability.” - Lama Nacham

We envision users with their own avatar. But we do not envision something that looks like a cartoon, we are envisioning something that every instinct tells you is a real human being. And we envision hardware and software that can deliver that in real-time. If initially we cannot quite reach photorealism in real-time, then at least from the very beginning we can achieve it for pre-prepared sequences.

 

We envision tight coupling of natural facial movements with own-voice synthesis as well as AI-generated facial body-language based not only on listening to ongoing conversations and things like sudden noises but also from watching what is going on, and detecting and interpreting movement.

 

We envision a user giving a speech where their avatar is shown on the auditorium screen (not an image of their almost-paralysed speechless body), or a Skype call or a podcast where their avatar is all that people see, or even holding a face-to-face conversation with someone who ends up interacting with the user’s avatar software not  their ‘wetware’ at all.

Personality Retention

Founder & CEO, Embody Digital

Dr Ari Shapiro

“This cutting-edge Embodiment Software transforms Peter’s words from simple text into a virtual, speaking 3D version of himself, with all the expressiveness and emotion of face-to-face communication – all automatically.”

We envision seamless access to anything electronic, with intuitive navigation across the whole of cyberspace. By a user tying into multiple sensory inputs, we envision that increasingly
boundaryless control over their world will feel like control over a massively extended body that substitutes for their (potentially) paralysed biological body. Instead of interfacing with their environment, increasingly they will become their environment. Thanks to the plasticity of the brain, over time, cyberspace – and any of the physical world accessible through cyberspace – will feel like the user; sending an email or calling an elevator, just like raising a finger or raising an eyebrow used to be. It is not just they will no longer feel trapped in a paralysed body; they will no
longer be a paralysed body.

 

We envision intuitive eye-driven control of everything previously accomplished by hand – such as controlling the TV and household appliances, or calling the elevator and opening doors. But naturally, because the user’s AI will by this stage have full access to Machine Translation, there is absolutely no reason why any conversations cannot be in any language. Indeed, combined with our Verbal Spontaneity and Personality Retention work, we envision a user’s Avatar holding a video Skype interview in Chinese and Japanese – at the same time.

All-Access Pass: Cyberspace

It is crucial to tackle the current huge barriers to Disabled Access so as to easily navigate a typically-hostile urban environment, go on a country walk, safely climb stairs, board a boat, traverse icy/snowy surfaces, take a commercial flight. As part of this major research challenge, we envision ‘wheelchairs’ taking on far greater responsibility – Robotic Mobility is in reality an AI challenge on wheels. We envision a user outside their house onboard their Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle using their eyes to click on an icon for ‘Bedroom’ and that is it – everything else is automatic until they are safely by their bed. Likewise, even in unfamiliar territory, they should be able to travel fast-but-safely thanks to a sophisticated collision avoidance system. We envision them being able to speed through an obstacle course or safely make their way through a showroom of porcelain vases.


We also envision a user speeding along with a VR visor obscuring their eyes. What they see is Enhanced Reality – their Intelligence Amplifier at full pelt. Or they will use the same system to teleport into a real-world meeting (not a VR meeting) occupying a remote telepresence robot. Or they teleport into a drone, looking down at themselves from their extra-terrestrial body. Or they move through their house as before, but they are in bed – experiencing through VR what they would if sitting in their wheelchair. We aim to change perceptions of what ‘Reality’ is.

Robotic Mobility

We envision some stylish exoskeleton arms and gauntlets (with gaps for fingertips and palms to touch surfaces and distinguish textures). We also envision an exoskeleton neck (tailored for a Vent Pump tube) that is capable of turning and nodding and looking around. As ever, we envision a user being offered options – exactly as when in immersive VR. Indeed, it will be exactly as when in cyberspace because they will be the same options. Why should it feel any different in the physical world? Whether a user is ‘escaping’ from a room by opening a door by turning its handle, or coordinating movement between both arms, or reaching out and touching someone they love, they will do them all in exactly the same way in cyber-reality as in space-time reality. Both are their expanded reality.


Most people assume that an exoskeleton’s only purpose is to interact with the physical world. But it will serve an equally important second role: It will allow a user to feel interactions in the Virtual world. If their voluntary muscles do not work, their sensations when their exoskeleton moves their arms, experiences resistance, hits something, is weighed down, bounces back – will be identical whichever reality they are in. Their innocuous exoskeleton is in truth the ultimate cyber suit that any futuristic VR gamer would also prize.

All-Access Pass: Physical

Social Change

To change the world, cutting-edge Hi-Tech alone is not enough; we must change attitudes as well.

Virtual Liberation

By the time we’re finished, whether you’re in physical reality, enhanced reality, or fully-virtual reality, will feel irrelevant.

AI on its own is like a brilliant jazz pianist. But without anyone to jam with.

AI can give an impressive solo performance. Wow the audience. Yet even so, it’s nowhere near its full potential; if seamlessly merged with another talented performer with noticeably different skills the combined virtuoso performance would seem close to magic.

 

At the heart of all our research at The Scott-Morgan Foundation is Human-Centric AI – in other words, AI merged with people, neither the AI nor the individual giving a solo performance. A mutually dependent partnership, not a rivalry. Synergy, not a zero-sum game. A jazz combo.

 

But we’re committed to Human-Centric AI far more even than that.

 

We’re dedicated to encouraging a newly human-focused attitude to AI everywhere, across industries, around the globe – an approach where responsibility, personality, ethics, and human/AI-rights are key. And we’re doing this not just because of what we see as the huge benefits, but because we anticipate that otherwise there’ll be a crippling backlash against what’s typically perceived as the ‘uncontrolled rise’ of raw AI.

 

To us, nurturing Human-Centric AI –  including resolving the crucial associated issues of AI Ethics and Cyborg Rights – is not just the most attractive route for The Foundation to follow, and Humanity to follow; in each case, it may well be the only path that doesn’t lead to a dead-end.

Cyborg Wet Interface

Being unable to eat, drink, breathe or communicate are not ‘untreatable medical problems’; they’re simply engineering challenges.

Learn more

CHARLIE

Our prototype Cyborg Harness And Robotic Life Improving Exoskeleton is the beginning of a future that’s never been attempted before.

We envision some stylish exoskeleton arms and gauntlets (with gaps for fingertips and palms to touch surfaces and distinguish textures). We also envision an exoskeleton neck (tailored for a Vent Pump tube) that is capable of turning and nodding and looking around. As ever, we envision a user being offered options – exactly as when in immersive VR. Indeed, it will be exactly as when in cyberspace because they will be the same options. Why should it feel any different in the physical world? Whether a user is ‘escaping’ from a room by opening a door by turning its handle, or coordinating movement between both arms, or reaching out and touching someone they love, they will do them all in exactly the same way in cyber-reality as in space-time reality. Both are their expanded reality.

 

Most people assume that an exoskeleton’s only purpose is to interact with the physical world. But it will serve an equally important second role: It will allow a user to feel interactions in the Virtual world. If their voluntary muscles do not work, their sensations when their exoskeleton moves their arms, experiences resistance, hits something, is weighed down, bounces back – will be identical whichever reality they are in. Their innocuous exoskeleton is in truth the ultimate cyber suit that any futuristic VR gamer would also prize.

Partial Exoskeleton

The Scott-Morgan Foundation is committed to promoting the Right To THRIVE! Spurred on by the realisation that cutting-edge Hi-Tech is set to revolutionise Extreme Disability, we refuse to accept the established version of reality. Instead, our Foundation’s message of hope is that anyone with Extreme Disability can these days claim the Right to THRIVE! These pioneers can refuse merely to try to stay alive for as long as it takes until there is a cure – they can choose to THRIVE!

 

But it’s often not that simple. For example, to survive with MND long-term you typically need an operation called a Tracheostomy (or, even better, a Laryngectomy) that lets a portable device breathe for you. Currently, in countries like the UK, decisions on whether these options are made available to you if you have MND are made locally not nationally. The most recent data suggest that less than 0.5% of people with MND in the UK receive this life-saving combination (with only 1 in 1000 being allowed to choose to have the procedure as elective surgery); in Japan it is a third of people with MND.

 

Cutting-edge Hi-Tech such as robotics, own-voice speech synthesis and Virtual Reality offers new hope for everybody with Extreme Disability. But in order to benefit, everyone deserves the same right of access to the life-sustaining procedures needed to keep them going. That way, each person with Extreme Disability gets the same Right to THRIVE! – if that is the choice they want.

Right to THRIVE!

To change the world, cutting-edge Hi-Tech alone is not enough. If we only come up with brilliant ideas, we fail. If we only build amazing Proofs of Concept, we fail. If we only promote Hi-Tech that people don’t access (they don’t want it, aren’t offered it, can’t afford it, don’t live long enough), we fail. If we forever change the world so that anyone, if they choose to, can THRIVE even with Extreme Disability – only then do we succeed.

 

So, in addition to devising Human-Centric AI systems, we also need to change attitudes through Promotion and Publication. We need to view the research as part of a major Change Intervention, stimulate awareness via conventional media and social media, and as necessary lobby governments and healthcare-communities. To KEEP changing the world, those of us researching in this field must constantly regenerate and evolve what we do and how we do it, constantly pushing back the frontiers of what is possible, constantly at the cutting-edge of applying Hi-Tech to Extreme Disability and beyond, constantly leveraging Moore’s Law to translate research into user-tools, constantly striving to deliver more and more support to everyone who dreams of breaking free from the straightjacket they find themselves in.

 

Cutting-edge Hi-Tech such as robotics, own-voice speech synthesis and Virtual Reality offers new hope for everybody with Extreme Disability. But in order to benefit, everyone deserves the same right of access to the life-sustaining procedures needed to keep them going. That way, each person with Extreme Disability gets the same Right to THRIVE! – if that is the choice they want.

Radical disABILITY

The Scott-Morgan Foundation is intent on nudging our planet’s default future away from the standard Hollywood version – where AI eventually treats us as pets or pests – toward an alternative future in which, to different degrees, we all meld with AI and Robotics to break free of any physical or mental straightjacket we find ourselves in. Overcoming the challenges of Extreme Disability is the ideal focus. Here’s what we’re researching.

©2020 The Scott-Morgan Foundation