Japanese scientists have unveiled what they say is the world’s first news-reading android.
“Isn’t it just a little coincidental that this story breaks the same day that Diane Sawyer announces her retirement?” asks James H. Burns.
The adolescent-looking “Kodomoroid” — an amalgamation of the Japanese word “kodomo” (child) and “android” — delivered news of an earthquake and an FBI raid to amazed reporters in Tokyo.
She even poked fun at her creator, telling leading robotics professor Hiroshi Ishiguro: “You’re starting to look like a robot!”
The Space Daily article also reports Japanese customers will be offered a chance to purchase “a chatty humanoid called Pepper designed by SoftBank as a household companion” next year for around $2,000.
Years ago, I predicted we would never create humanoid robots … automobile assembling robots, robots that rolled on the surface of Mars, even tiny robots that might float around in our digestive tracts, looking for tumours … but not robots like Mr. Data. Why bother? You can hire a BS for peanuts to do anything a $60 million dollar robot can do. What I don’t seem to have counted on was the obsession that the Japanese have for creating humanoid robots. Clearly, if it can be done, they will do it. Oddly, now I see the main use for such robots is not to do our labour at all … but to sit and smile while they answer our stupid questions or fill out forms for us. They have more patience than humans for the trivial, and can be infallibly friendly while doing it. the irony is that in one possible future, we may grunt and sweat to do the physical labour that white collar robots are too valuable to waste on.
Will naked androids read the news soon?
Do naked androids dream of shaving sheep?