Rafael Hostettler's background is a fascinating one. Raphael has always been curious about how things work. Growing up in Switzerland, Raphael was interested in technology and eventually studied computer science and engineering. Raphael’s curiosity led him to the field of robotics and he founded his company Devanthro. Devanthro aims to create robodies that are as agile, dexterous, and graceful as the human body but without its weakness.
The ultimate goal is to live as these robodies and be able to explore endlessly. Raphael’s world of robotics, AI, AR, and creative vision is ultimately to separate the mind and body and store the mind somewhere safe so that the body can be free to live without the fear of accidents or malfunctions.
Raphael has a goal, a life-defining and life-changing goal for the people of the world. The goal is to create more capable robots and also to study the human body to eventually replicate it. Standard robotics typically uses motors in joints, but the human body has a complex network of muscles that interact with multiple joints, producing different forces.
Raphael explained that the musculoskeletal robotics his company is designing and building aim to bring robotics closer to biology and create better robotic systems and bodies. The goal is to create more capable robots and also to study the human body to eventually replicate it.
Standard robotics typically uses motors in joints, but the human body has a complex network of muscles that interact with multiple joints, producing different forces. Musculoskeletal robotics aims to bring robotics closer to biology and create better robotic systems and bodies.
Then comes the question of his company’s goal of merging AI and essentially a human’s mind to become one. Raphael discussed the idea of merging AI and robotics with a person's personality is still a fundamentally unsolved question. While some progress has been made in understanding the human brain, there is still much that is unknown about how to simulate a person's entire being, including their physical body and all of their sensory inputs.
Raphael proposed an ingenious solution to get closer to the vision of a robotic future and that is to take destructive scans of the person's brain and body to recreate a digital simulation, which would then be connected to a robotic avatar through high-bandwidth real-time connections. Raphael explained that the challenge will be in creating a seamless transfer of the person's body image and sensory inputs to the robotic avatar and ensuring that the connection feels natural.
Raphael also discussed brainstorming with a colleague about using AI to recreate a person using scans of social media data, such as videos and pictures. He discussed the possibility of creating an AI with a continuous ego perspective that feels like the person it's recreating.
Raphael says although it's a challenging task, it may be easier to do that than doing a facial scan. The possibilities can be endless. It is about finding the right solutions through advancing technologies and creative vision.
There are still many questions to be answered as technology advances in this area. Raphael explained that the concept of having a robot take on the identity of a person raises many questions. One is whether the robot will have a legal identity and what happens if the robot commits a crime.
“If there is only one copy of the person running, it's relatively straightforward to answer as it is considered one entity. However, if multiple copies exist, it becomes more complex as each entity could act differently and raise questions about ownership and liability” -Raphael
Raphals also understand that artificial entities raise concerns about AI safety and ethics. He says people should instead of viewing AI as a threat to humanity, we need to see a balance between biological and non-biological entities. This balance can be achieved by finding an economic niche for new entities and ensuring their integration into society.
Raphael ended the podcast with a great sense of fairness to people. The ultimate goal is to create a more immediate and efficient connection between robotic bodies and biological entities. One solution could be allowing the general public to vote on those in power, with a probation period and the possibility of a referendum to remove them.
You can find more information about Raphel and Devanthro at www.devanthro.com and on its social media platforms, LinkedIn and Twitter. The company is actively fundraising to bring this solution to life. Raphael believes it is an important step toward addressing the constraints of a declining population.
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