Science & technology
Japan's Hitachi unveils joking robot
Publish Date: May 20, 2014
Japan's Hitachi unveils joking robot
An employee of Japanese electronics giant Hitachi talks with the companys humanoid robot "Emiew 2" (Excellent Mobility and Interactive Existence as Workmate) during a demonstration at the company. AFP/PHOTO
  • mail
  • img
newvision

Japanese scientists unveiled a robot with a sense of humour Tuesday, and claimed it was capable of knowing when its jokes had fallen flat.

The pint-sized roller-skating EMIEW2 -- pronounced like the flightless bird -- is able to have a short conversation with a human being, without being given a script.

The red and white robot picks key words from a sentence -- for example, "how many" -- to try to work out what question it is being asked, then confirms the inquiry before firing back an answer.

Engineers at Hitachi have programmed the android to understand a range of human responses, including non-verbal signals like nods.

It uses this comprehension to determine if its interlocutor has got the "joke" it has just told, said scientists.

At a demonstration in Tokyo on Tuesday, the 80 centimetre- (32 inch-) tall device answered a question on the number of people working at the Hitachi facility with the somewhat surreal: "We have two swans."

When its interlocutor appeared puzzled, the robot let on that it had been joshing.

"You got it? I'm kidding. We have about 800 people working here," it drolly revealed.

Hitachi's Hisashi Ikeda said while the robot's sense of humour may not be very refined at present, the ability to comprehend reactions was an important step forward.

"The new technology makes it possible for a robot to understand what a human means, even if they only gesture," he said.

EMIEW2 -- its name is a rather strained acronym for "excellent mobility and interactive existence as workmate" -- is intended ultimately to provide company in some form, perhaps as a kind of house pet, or even as a receptionist, the company said.



 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Googling yourself hurts, says Miley Cyrus
Pop diva Miley Cyrus has opened up to Australian television about her life, saying Googling yourself is bad for your brain and Elvis was a "twerker"....
Apple, FBI investigate massive celebrity photo
The FBI and Apple were urgently investigating Monday after an apparent massive hack of a cloud data service unleashed a torrent of intimate pictures of dozens of celebrities across the Internet....
South Korea
South Korea's Samsung and LG unveiled new smartwatches Thursday with upgraded functions and design as they step up their drive to lead an increasingly competitive market for wearable devices....
Iran
Tehran will "accelerate" arming Palestinians in retaliation for Israel deploying a spy drone over Iran, which was shot down, a military commander said...
WhatsApp reaches 600 million active users
THAT'S up from the roughly 450 million it had in February when Facebook first announced plans to acquire the messaging service for $16 billion with another $3 billion in restricted stock...
Youtube to charge for music videos?
YOUTUBE will begin charging subscriptions for viewers to watch official music videos on their site with no ads. This will follow streaming services subscription plans like Spotify, Pandora (P) and Rhapsody...
Do you think banning the sale of single cigarette sticks will help regulate tobacco production?
yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter