Japan grants residency to AI bot resembling 7-year-old boy | world news | Hindustan Times
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Japan grants residency to AI bot resembling 7-year-old boy

Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward has given the AI character his own special residence certificate.

world Updated: Nov 04, 2017 19:51 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse, Tokyo
Artificial Intelligence,Japan,Tokyo
The move makes Japan’s first, maybe the world’s first, artificial intelligence bot to be granted a place on a real-life local registry.(AFP/ Representative image)

An AI character was made an official resident of a busy central Tokyo district on Saturday, with the virtual newcomer resembling a chatty seven-year-old boy.

The boy named “Shibuya Mirai” does not exist physically, but he can have text conversations with humans on the widely used LINE messaging app.

Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, an area popular with fashion-conscious young people, has given the character his own special residence certificate.

This makes him Japan’s first, and maybe the world’s first, artificial intelligence bot to be granted a place on a real-life local registry.

This handout picture released on Novemver 4, 2017 by Tokyo's Shibuya Ward shows a special residence certifidate. (AFP)

Mirai, whose name means “future” in Japanese, is supposed to be a first grader at an elementary school.

He can reply to messages and make light-hearted alterations to selfies he is sent.

Shibuya said the project aimed to make the district’s local government more familiar to residents and allow officials to hear their opinions.

“His hobbies are taking pictures and observing people. And he loves talking with people... Please talk to him about anything,” the ward said in a statement with Microsoft, the joint developer of the AI character.

First Published: Nov 04, 2017 17:30 IST