Innovation Articles

By Ashlee Vance

Mark Sagar Made a Baby in His Lab. Now it Plays the Piano


BabyX, the virtual creation of Mark Sagar and his researchers, looks impossibly real. If it sounds odd to encounter a virtual child that can read words from a book, it’s much more disorienting to feel a sense of fatherly pride after she nails a bunch in a row and lights up with what appears to be authentic joy. BabyX and I seemed to be having a moment, learning from each other while trading expressions and subtle cues so familiar to the human experience.