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Tong Tong, the world's first AI child, unveiled at exhibition

 (BIGAI)
(BIGAI)

The world's first "AI child", developed by Chinese scientists, possesses the emotional development and cognitive ability of a three- or four-year-old human child.

Tong Tong, which means "Little Girl", is the name given to it by scientists at the Beijing Institute for General Artificial Intelligence (BIGAI).

The AI child debuted late last month at the Frontiers of General Artificial Intelligence Technology Exhibition, where it engaged with visitors and demonstrated its human-like qualities, according to local media.

Tong Tong is limited to the digital realm yet, even virtually constrained,, it possesses emotional intelligence, a vocabulary of more than 600 words, and the ability to learn autonomously like a child.

It speaks and behaves like a three- or four-year-old human right now but, since it's always learning, its capabilities are expected to increase.

According to its inventors, Tong Tong also exhibits an emotional involvement level never before seen in AI programmes.

A programme video shown at the ceremony stated that: “Tong Tong possesses a mind and strives to understand the common sense taught by humans.

“She discerns right from wrong, expresses her attitudes in various situations, and has the power to shape the future.”

With the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing, Tong Tong can adapt its actions to the circumstances at hand. Its propensity to clean up its virtual environment, including wiping up spilled milk and correcting a crooked picture frame without being asked, impressed audiences in one instance.

The most unsettling aspect of Tong Tong, however, is its purported ability to experience and communicate its ‘own joy, anger, and sorrow’.

Not only can Tong Tong recognise objects and people and act in a way that is very like that of a youngster, but it can also imitate a child's behaviour right down to the unadulterated feelings and natural responses.