How close are we to a Star Wars droid reality? That’s the question we posed to Paul G. Allen’s technical advisor Jeff Kramer. As a Star Wars fan with an extensive background in robotics, he knows a thing or two about beloved characters like C-3P0, R2-D2 and BB-8 and how some of their technological advances can be seen in present day robotics.

“The key differentiator between most robots and the robots that are in Star Wars is how human they are,” Kramer said. “The work that we are doing over at AI2 really is pushing the boundaries of how human we can make our systems.

Everything from AllenNLP, which is doing natural language processing and human level sentence understanding all the way through Aristo, which is answering scientific questions, the work that we’re doing at AI2 is really pushing the boundaries of how our systems can become more human in the future.”

Across Paul Allen’s organizations, people are working on projects that aim to make science fiction into reality.

Through the lens of three Star Wars droids, Kramer breaks down some of their coolest tech attributes and weighs in on real-life advances in robotics that continually bring us closer to a droid reality.


The Last Jedi Premiere at Seattle Cinerama

Technology & Science AI2 artificial intelligence droids Jeff Kramer science fiction Star Wars technology


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