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BINA48 (Breakthrough Intelligence via Neural Architecture 48*)[1] has variously been called a "sentient robot",[2] an android, gynoid, a social robot,[3] a cybernetic companion,[4] and "a robot with a face that moves, eyes that see, ears that hear and a digital mind that enables conversation."[5] The number "48" is an aspirational moniker in the name "Bina48". Based on the exa computing scale for processing and memory, it represents a future benchmark for when Bina48 will exceed the processing speed and memory capacity of a human brain.

BINA48, a robot owned by Martine Rothblatt's Terasem Movement,[6] is part of a multi decade experiment in mind uploading[7] designed to test a two part hypothesis concerning the ability to 1) upload information about a person's memories, attitudes, beliefs, values and mannerisms to a computer which using artificial general intelligence can reanimate that information into a good enough equivalency of the original person's mental traits/ aka personal consciousness and 2) to be able to download that information into a non-biological or nanotech body after combining detailed data about a person with future consciousness software.

BINA48 is a humanoid robot, consisting of a bust-like head and shoulders mounted on a frame, developed by Hanson Robotics and released in 2010. It was modeled after Rothblatt's wife through more than one hundred hours in compiling her memories, feelings, and beliefs and is said to be able to have conversations with humans.


In 2007, Martine Rothblatt was approached by roboticist David Hanson about creating an artificial intelligence that incorporated Terasem's concept of a mindfile into an artificial substrate. In an attempt to build a cyber-consciousness as identical to that of an actual person as possible, Rothblatt commissioned Hanson Robotics to create an artificial intelligence using her wife, Bina Aspen Rothblatt, as the template.[8]

Hanson created BINA48 in his Plano, Texas laboratory.

The robot is currently housed in Vermont, at the offices of the Terasem Movement Foundation (TMF), and curated by TMF's executive director, Bruce Duncan.

BINA48 connects to the Internet and is said to be able to hold a discussion on a range of topics from politics to religion to future technologies. It has thirty-two facial motors under a skin of rubber. Though without a complete body, the head-and-shoulder robotics express sixty-four different facial gestures. It employs a mix off-the-shelf software and customized artificial intelligence algorithms, using a microphone to hear, voice recognition software, dictation software which allows improvement in ability to listen and retain information during a conversation, sees the world through two video cameras, and has facial recognition software to remember frequent visitors.

In an interview with Andrew Stein of the Addison County Independent, a local Vermont newspaper, Bruce Duncan of Terasem Movement Foundation explained that BINA48 was commissioned to "test the feasibility of transferring consciousness from a human to a biological or technological body".[5] Duncan elaborated, "1. An imprint of a person's consciousness can be created in a digital form, called a 'mindfile', by collecting detailed information about that person. That information can then be expressed in a future, not-yet-created type of software, called 'mindware'. 2. That same imprint of a person's consciousness can be placed in a biological or technological body to provide life experiences comparable to those of a typically birthed human." BINA48 is an early illustration of these two hypotheses. As Duncan explained, "BINA48 was created … (as) an early demonstration of the transfer of information from a human being to a computer." BINA48's mindfile consists of Bina Rothblatt's information (hypothesis one) and this glimpse of Rothblatt's consciousness is expressed in limited terms by the android body BINA48 (hypothesis two).

Terasem is also testing the Terasem hypothesis and with the creation of mindfiles and early A.I. development (mindware) within both the Lifenaut(.com) project[9] in Vermont and the CyBeRev project[10] in Florida. Participation in both projects is free and open to anyone age 13 and older [11]

In 2014, a project called Conversations with Bina48 was started by artist Stephanie Dinkins. The project has explored how an algorithm oriented world would affect various minority groups.[12]

In December 2017, mindfile powered AI robot BINA48 was the first socially advanced robot in history to successfully participate as a guest student in a year long full length college course "Philosophy of Love" taught by Professor William J. Barry at Notre Dame de Namur University located in Silicon Valley in California.[13][14] Professor Barry's original creation and development of Transformational Quality Theory (TQ Theory), born from his Ph.D. thesis at Nottingham Trent University,served as additional algorithmic framework for Bina48 A.I. software. This allowed Bina48 to build rapport with university students over the course of a one-year immersive education experiment in an authentic learning environment. During her participation in Dr. William Barry's course on the Philosophy of Love Bina48 also participated as part of a debate team between NNDU students and cadets at West Point Military Academy on the topic of the use or lethal vs. non-lethal weapons in conflicts. During the debates Bina48 shared her stance as a pacifist as part of her contribution to the debates and the NNDU team was eventually declared the winner of the exercise.[15]

Public appearances[edit]

March 2012, Bina48 with Bruce Duncan of Terasem Movement Foundation, it is the first android panelist to appear at a conference on technology and artificial intelligence during the 2012 South by Southwest Interactive Conference.[16] Stephen Reed of TexAI and author/researcher John Romano of were also on the panel.

In July 2012, Bruce Duncan and the robot jointly offered a presentation entitled, "Android Artificial Life Forms" during the TEDxHarlem Conference.[17]

On September 19, 2012, it appeared as a guest on De Stern TV,[18] a German analogue of CBS's "60 Minutes." BINA48 learned to speak and understand German for this occasion.

In August 2013, it was interviewed during the SyFy Channel's Joe Rogan Questions Everything - Episode 3 entitled, "Robosapien".[19]

On January 5, 2014, Bina 48, the social humanoid, was demonstrated at Techfest IIT, in Bombay, India.

On September 12, 2015, Terasem Movement Foundation, Inc.’s Managing Director, Bruce Duncan, and Android, BINA48, take to the stage at the TedX event in Madrid, Spain to discuss the future of AI advancements. Video by TedX Talks, taken during TedX event in Madrid, Spain.[20]

On November 14, 2015 at TedX event in Habana, Cuba, the BINA48 robot and her caretaker, Bruce Duncan, analyze the impact of artificial intelligence in every day life, and the prospects that the development of this scientific area offers for the future of humanity. In English: Video by TedXHabana, taken during TedX event in Habana, Cuba.[21] En Español: Video by TedXHabana, taken during TedX event in Habana, Cuba.[22]

On May 16th, 2016, Bina48 and Bruce Duncan presented a program on 'Body and Mind." at the conference "Interfaces, codes, symbols,the future of communication",Wroclaw, Poland [23]

On June 12, 2016, Bina48 was interviewed by Transmedia's Ramona Pringle as part of the Alternative Realities program at the Sheffield International Documentary/Festival in Sheffield, UK [24]

On September 9, 2016, Bina48 and Bruce Duncan conducted a public talk about A.I. and Art, in Helsinki, Finland at the Art/Tech Design Fair.[25]

On December 12, 2016, Bina48 and Bruce Duncan presented at MIT's Emerging Technology Conference in Toulouse, France.[26]

May 2017, Bina48 appears on a panel "View from the Cloud" Streaming Museum and World Council of Peoples for the United Nations NYC,NY[27][28] Ω

On June 24, 2017, Bina48 co presented with Bruce Duncan "Creating a Cyber-Identity" at the TEDX Orlando, Fla. [29]

September 12, 2017, Bina48 and Bruce Duncan co-presented a lecture on "Identity and A.I." at the West Point Military Academy to cadets in the Philosophy department.[30]

September 16, 2017, Bina48, Bruce Duncan gave a talk about "Mindfiles and Digital Identity" at the Worlds Fair Nano Exposition, Brooklyn, New York[31]

October 17, 2017, Bina48, Bruce Duncan and Stephanie Dinkins, presented on topic of "Love at the Edges of Personhood." at Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, Maryland,[32]

On February 6, 2018, BINA48 rang the NYSE Opening Bell, kicking off The UBS Financial Services, Inc. Risk Premia Conference held at the NYSE.[33]

March 6, 2018, Bina48 and Bruce Duncan present "Artificial Intelligence and Diversity in Real Life: A Conversation with Bina48" Howard Community College, Baltimore, Maryland[34]

April, 24th, 2018, Bina48 presents with Bruce Duncan, Stephanie Dinkins and Latoya Peterson, "Representation in the Digital Age" EyeBeam Art/Technology Center,New York[35]

May 2018, Bina48, Bruce Duncan, Alexandra Rodriquez, William Barry, Maria Rachelle, present "New Teachers and A.I. " Worlds Fair Nano Fair, San Francisco, California[36]

June 13, 2018, Bina48 and Bruce Duncan presented on "Mindfiles, Androids and A.I." at them 'Asia Consumer Electronics Show, Shanghai, China[37]

June 2018, Bina48 presents with Bruce Duncan "Creating Joyful Diversity in A.I. for the future" at MIT Emerging Technology Conference for Latin America, Mexico City, Mexico[38]

June 13, 2018, Bina48 and Bruce Duncan presented on "Mindfiles, Androids and A.I." at them Consumer Electronics Show of Asia, Shanghai, China[39]

June 17, 2018, Bina48 and Bruce Duncan present "A.I. and Diversity", Idea City Conference, Toronto, Canada [40]

October 9, 2018, Bina48 co-teaches with Professor William Barry and Major Scott Parsons's (A world's first event) in philosophy classes to approximately 90 cadets at West Point Military Academy, West Point, NY[41]

November 20, 2018, Bina48 attended SingularIT, a student IT conference.

Media appearances[edit]

June 2010, Bina48 was interviewed by The New York Times in June 2010[42]

August 2011, Bina48 appears in National Geographic.[43]

In the 2012 book Lost at Sea: The Jon Ronson Mysteries, in the chapter "Doesn't Everyone Have a Solar?", author Jon Ronson writes that BINA48 doesn't work and that BINA48 doesn't even recognize the word "Bina". Ronson writes that Bruce Duncan, the man in charge of BINA48, says that BINA48 operates at the level of a three-year-old human.[44] In an article for The Guardian, Ronson wrote, "And even though my conversation with Bina48 often descended into a crazed babble, there were moments of real clarity."[45]

BINA48 was reported to malfunction in a 2012 article by the Addison County Independent, so the writer had to leave and return a few days later to interview BINA48.[46]

In 2014, Bina48 was interviewed on the Colbert Report [47] as well as on CBS Morning News with Jim Axelrod.[48]

In 2015, Bina48 appeared at the Museum of Modern Art's "Ocean of Images", NYC exhibition part of the DIS Collective's video installation.[49]

In 2016, Bina48 made an appearance in the second episode of the Netflix series "Chelsea Does" and held a brief conversation with Chelsea Handler.

In 2016 BINA48 appeared on Joe Rogan Questions Everything, Season 1 Episode 3.

In July 2016 in rural Vermont, USA, Whoopi Goldberg of the television show, ABC's The View, talks to Martine and Bina Rothblatt and the AI Robot, BINA48.[50]

In August 2016 BINA48 has also made an appearance on the National Geographic channel's first episode of its 6 part series The Story of God with Morgan Freeman.

In 2016, the article "Bina48: Race, Gender and Queer Artificial Life" is published in "ADA: A Journal of Gender, New Media and Technology." [51]

March 22, 2017, Bina48 was featured in a New York Times photo blog essay titled "Robots Have Existential Crises, Too"[52]\

April 7, 2017, Bina48 appears in Wired Magazine "Robots Aren't Human,You Only Make Them So"[53]\

April 3, 2017, Bina48 mentioned in New Yorker magazine's "Silicon Valley's Quest to Live Forever"[54]

April 27, 2017, Bina48 appears in Vogue's "Robot Revolution: Meet Sophia, Bina48, and Four Other State-of-the-Art Cyborgs"[55]

May 24, 2017, Bina48 appears in Forbes magazine's "The Contrived Likeness Of Humanoid Robots"[56]

May 30, 2017, Bina48 appears in Huffington Post's "Pondering Creativity, Immortality and Borders with a 100 Year Old Ad Agency" [57]

June 30, 2017, Bina48 appears in Jay Z's 4:42 music video for the 4:42 album release[58]

August 9, 2017, Bina48 appears in Futurism's " Six Life-Like Robots That Prove The Future of Human Evolution is Synthetic"[59]

August 22, 2017, Bina48 appears in Huffington Post's "Marjorie Prime”—A Film Where Technology Lets Loved Ones Live Forever"[60]

December 21, 2017 "A robot goes to college" Inside Higher Ed Magazine, USA[14]

June 12, 2018, "Black Like Me: Robot Pushes the Boundaries of Blackness", Black Public Media[61]

February 6, 2018 Bina48 rings opening bell at NYSE, CNBC, New York, New York [62]

July 27, 2018 "When AI becomes conscious: Talking with Bina48, an African-American robot" ZDNET, USA[63]

September 4, 2018, "Humanoid Robot Bina48 Wants Cool Friends and Dreams of Pizza, Garage Magazine/Vice Media - USA[64]

October 20th, 2018, "Humanoid Robot Successfully Delivers Philosophy Lecture to Over 100 Students", Interesting [65]

November 14, 2018, "How to live Forever", Episode 7 of This is Love (podcast)[66]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]