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Robot, robot, wherefore art thou robot?

作者:申墼    发布时间:2017-10-22 03:00:11    

By Celeste Biever From tragedy to comedy, robot performers are proving as emotive as they are automotive “HEATHER,” says the performer, “help me with my stylish scarf.” He regally flings his arms in the air, and waits. The woman he is addressing, Heather Knight, places a black lacy garment around his neck. He brings his arms back down and starts to tell a joke. The performer, whose name is Data (see photo, right, and video above), is rehearsing for his stand-up-comedy debut. Yet Data is not just any comedian: he is a half-metre-tall humanoid robot. He and Knight are doing their thing in Washington Square Park, New York, in front of a crowd of passers-by. Data is not the first robot to take to the stage in the hope of entertaining an audience (see “Performance a bit mechanical”). But now there is a bigger goal at stake for performers like him: to acquire acting skills that could help the rest of robotkind interact more fluidly with humans. And boy, do robots have a lot to learn. Present-day robots can often be annoying, creepy or just plain rude in their interactions with us. Humans are adept at coping with social nuances and subtle cues in communication, says Knight, a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and founder of a New York City-based robotics company called Marilyn Monrobot. “Yet robots today are socially disabled,” she says. For their developers, it’s about more than politeness. Unless robots develop more social awareness, they cannot become more sophisticated,

 

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