“You can actually have a conversation with him,” said Biniok. “You can have some small talk with him, you can talk about your feelings with him or you can just do your work with him.”

CIMON is one of the latest efforts by IBM in somewhat of an artificial intelligence arms race between the top technology giants in Silicon Valley. IBM is part of a joint venture with Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Microsoft dedicated to advancing the general public’s understanding of artificial intelligence technology.

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“A small number of large corporations are today the powerhouses behind the development of sophisticated artificial intelligence,” said Murray Shanahan, a professor of cognitive robotics at Imperial College London. “The inauguration of the partnership on AI is a very welcome step towards ensuring this technology is used wisely.”

For more trends in artificial intelligence, visit the Robotics & AI Channel.