Wow I was blown away by this story but Japanese scientists on Tuesday unveiled what they said was the world’s first news-reading android, eerily lifelike and possessing a sense of humor to match her perfect language skills. The adolescent-looking “kodomoroid”- an amalgamation of the Japanese word “kodomo” (child) and “android” – delivered news of an eaerthquake and an FBI raid to amazed reporters in Tokyo. Both androids will work at Tokyo’s National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, interacting with visitors to collect data for Ishiguro’s studies into human reactions to the machines.
This is very scary and creepy at the same time. I am worried that they will continue to add more functions to these robots and can’t they eventually be threats to humans? I do not know but Japan is suffering from drastic population decline and robots may be able to replace human labor as caregivers. For that reason, I think it is important for Japanese scientists to continue to develop robots who can talk and act like humans.
Japanese robotics expert Hiroshi Ishiguro, an Osaka University professor, says they will be useful for research on how people interact with robots and on what differentiates the person from the machine. “Making androids is about exploring what it means to be human,” he told reporters Tuesday, “examining the question of what is emotion, what is awareness, what is thinking.” The robot, designed with a girlish appearance, can use a variety of voices, such as a deep male voice one minute and a squeaky girly voice the next. The speech can be input by text, giving them perfect articulation, according to Ishiguro. The two life-size-robots, which have silicon skin and artificial muscles, will be on display starting Wednesday at Miraikan museum, or the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, in Tokyo, allowing the public to interact with them extensively. (read more on reviewjournal)
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