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Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 15:47 GMT
Beauty in the eye of the android
The robot is unveiled by artificial intelligence specialists Intelligent Earth
The android will recognise levels of femininity
Artificial intelligence experts in Fife have unveiled a robotic head which they say can scientifically determine how attractive women are to men.

But they have warned that it does not work in reverse because masculine appeal to women is not as likely to be based on looks alone.

Specialists at Kirkcaldy-based Intelligent Earth company said that the head-shaped android was capable of calculating how "feminine" or "masculine" a person's face is.

They claim that with feminine faces the android can assess attractiveness to men.

Psychological research has shown that a woman's attractiveness directly relates to her femininity

David Cumming
Intelligent Earth

Managing director David Cumming said: "The artificial intelligence technology we've developed here learns to recognise what sex someone is by drawing on its past experiences, in much the same way that the human brain learns when we are children.

"It examines a number of facial characteristics to determine what sex someone is, so the more classically feminine a woman looks, then the quicker it will decide what sex they are.

"Psychological research has shown that a woman's attractiveness directly relates to her femininity and so we can also use this reading as a measure of a woman's attractiveness to men."

He said the technology was more useful for determining female attractiveness as women relied more closely on factors other than looks when making decisions about men.

Robot enthusiasts

The artificial intelligence firm received its first prototype of the robot, nicknamed Doki, last week and is now mass producing the android.

Initially it could be used as a receptionist-style greeting device.

Company chiefs said they have already received several orders from firms, colleges and robot enthusiasts.

The android will sell for between 3,000 and 5,000, depending on its features and whether it will be used for teaching purposes.

Using web cameras mounted in the robot's head, an image of a person's face is taken and analysed by the robot's on-board computer and compared to previous faces it has seen.

The robot can currently only perform simple tasks but it is hoped that later this year it will be developed into an electronic personnel assistant, which could take messages, recognise frequent visitors and address them by name.

The company also plans to build a full size android, which can walk and interact with humans.

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 ON THIS STORY
Gavin Walker reports
"The robot has an eye for the difference between men and women."
See also:

19 Aug 02 | Hardtalk
16 Nov 01 | England
21 Sep 01 | Artificial intelligence
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