Sony steps into the future with ‘Affinity in Autonomy’ – an exploration of robotics at Milan Design Week
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Following its sensorial spectacle at last year’s Milan Design Week, Japanese brand Sony returns for 2019 to once again champion the benefits of technology on the human experience, and show how it can integrate in our daily lives. This time, Sony is addressing big questions within the complex universe of robotics and artificial intelligence.
Sony Design stepped into the sphere in 1961, a creative studio that saw Sony’s in-house designers weave emotional experiences into innovative designs. At the core of its work, Sony Design aims to create a ‘heartfelt future’ and does so by lifting the cloche on previously unseen prototypes via experiential exhibitions, what the company terms the ‘Perceptual Experience Project’.
Back in 1999, Sony developed its first entertainment robot, AIBO, and it has made a comeback in 2018. Following years of extensive investigations into AI and its vast developments, aibo has evolved into an emotional entity, a more intelligent version of its original. aibo enriches human life and is driven by learning, and this knowledge will come to life at the exhibition ‘Affinity in Autonomy’ during Milan Design Week.
Milan Design Week provides Sony Design with a global creative stage for such experimental performances. Last year, ‘Hidden Senses’ narrated how technology can enhance our daily lives, and this year’s show will appeal to the human emotions and senses even more. At the immersive installation, at Spazio Zegna in Tortona, visitors will be able to form a ‘new relationship with robotics’. Interaction will be plentiful: robotics will detect your movements, react to your emotions, and then search for your responses.
In the age of technology-takeover fears and data interference, Sony is at the forefront of settling our digital anxieties. It takes pride in being the first Japanese company to join Partnership on AI to Benefit People and Society, an association that establishes the best practices for artificial intelligence. Sony went one step further, though, and launched its own programme and strategy for change: The Sony Group AI Ethics Guidelines. Here it outlines human protection in technology in terms of safety, sustainability and security.
Sony is certainly entering a new realm with ‘Affinity in Autonomy’, turning unfamiliar concepts familiar. ‘We are developing a vision for robotics that will enrich people’s lives and society.’ Watch this space.
Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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