Ik ben Alice (aka Alice Cares) is a Dutch documentary released in 2015, directed by Sander Burger. The film loosely chronicles the testing and development of Alice, a 60-centimetre tall robot with advanced AI, currently being programmed by a research group over at Amsterdam’s Free University, designed to provide companionship and assistance to elderly people living alone.
Being a fan of personal AIs like Google Now and Siri, it was interesting seeing onscreen some of what actually goes on in the development of Alice. However the real charm and content of this doco came from the interactions between Alice and her three elderly test subjects, and the observation of the different relationships that developed as Alice talked and smiled its way into their (and the audience’s) hearts.
Check out the trailer to see why I was so charmed by this diminutive doll-faced robot, and why it gave me the hope perhaps that one day, I might finally have a friend of my own to talk to…