Scientists have unveiled what they claim is the first newsreading android—with a sense of humour to match her language skills. The adolescent-looking “Kodomoroid”—an amalgamation of the Japanese word “kodomo” (child) and “android”—delivered news of an earthquake and an FBI raid to reporters in Tokyo. She even poked fun at her creator, telling robotics professor Hiroshi Ishiguro: “You’re starting to look like a robot!”
My dream is to have my own TV show in the future.
The pitch-perfect Kodomoroid was flanked by a grown-up fellow robot, who caught stage fright and fluffed her lines when asked to introduce herself. “Otonaroid”—”otona” meaning adult—excused herself after a quick reboot, saying: “I’m a little bit nervous.” 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 will give us important feedback as we explore the question of what is human. We want robots to become increasingly clever.
Hiroshi Ishiguro, robotics professor