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If actors can't go back to work safely in the era of never-ending pandemics, are you willing to watch movies starring robots?
That's what Bondit Capital Media, Belgian company Happy Moon Productions and New York's 10Ten Global Media are banking on by financing a science fiction film called b to the tune of $70 million. In a first, b will star Erica, an actual artificial intelligence, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The story, developed by producer Sam Khoze, visual effects supervisor Eric Pham, and Tarek Zohdy, will follow a scientist discovering dangers with his program to perfect human DNA, and who must help Erica escape from said dangers. So at least the robot will be playing a robot and not an actual human... yet. No director or co-stars are attached yet, but some of her scenes were filmed in Japan last year anyway, and they hope to film the rest in Europe next year.
This is not the first time Erica, the ERato Intelligent Conversational Android created by Hiroshi Ishiguro and Kohei Ogawa, has booked on-camera work — she was originally slated to star in a different project from American History X director Tony Kaye, but scheduling difficulties tanked that one. She has also previously worked as a newscaster for Nippon TV in Japan.
Here's some footage of Erica from NatGeo's Year One Million back in 2017. She's likely much more advanced by now. What say you — creepy or cool? Skynet is very interested in your responses.