Robot News Roundup March 7, 2013

7 Mar

Watch This Childlike Humanoid Robot Begin To Comprehend Language

All robots must have ‘brains’ to work, obviously. Using neural type circuits, developers in France are teaching a robot to learn languages – arguably the toughest task for any robot. It’s a necessary condition for the human-android interaction, though, and likely to take many decades to reach the fluency of real humans.

Have a look at another take on the same report here

Robotic Idol, the First Robotic Dance Competition for K-12 Education to Increase Students Interest in STEM

Here’s a clever idea: develop a system that allows school kids to program a humanoid robot in a dance competition. It’s an opportunity for the advancement of robotics into schools and for students to take more interest in physics, math, engineering and so on. And, it’s likely to be a lot of fun for the young adults.

 Andrew Williams honored in technology field

 Behind all the hype in robotics, there are real people who are at the cutting edge of design and engineering. Here’s a profile of an African-American, Professor Andrew Williams, whose goal is to encourage more students to enter the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) field; and particularly to boost the presence of minorities and women with that field.

 No Mercy For Robots: Experiment Tests How Humans Relate To Machines

Now, here’s an interesting piece from NPR: in an experiment that mirrors the infamous obedience study conducted by Professor Milgram in the 1950s, Professor Christoph Bartneck at Caterbury U in New Zealand tested the attitudes of humans when relating to a robot, in this case, a cute cat-like figure that could talk and respond in English. It’s a fascinating read because, from my perspective, it showed just how susceptible some people are to regard a robot as having a kind of intrinsic life within – instead of just being a machine made and programmed by another human.


How To Build A Bot Army: Inside The Robot Combat League

Well, combat sports have been with us since gladiatorial times. So, why not have robots duke it out before a crowd of salivating fans? Better than humans pummeling each other to death in a boxing ring or MMA cage, for sure. And, of course, all in the interest of making pots of dough for promoters and for the fans through gambling. And why not? I’d rather have those killing machines in a controlled cage than roaming the streets, wouldn’t you?

Which raises another thought: Will we ever see the day that androids kill all sports stars?

 

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