Skip to comments.Robot Shows Prime Minister How to Loosen Up
Posted on 08/23/2003 10:13:26 PM PDT by Pikamax
Robot Shows Prime Minister How to Loosen Up Fri Aug 22, 9:19 AM ET Add Oddly Enough - Reuters to My Yahoo!
PRAGUE (Reuters) - A robot with impeccable manners charmed guests at a state dinner with his wisecracks and dancing, outshining Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla and showing up his often-mocked social stiffness.
Reuters Slideshow: Robots
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi unveiled an improved version of the 4-foot-tall Asimo humanoid on an official visit to the Czech Republic, where the word robot first appeared in author Karel Capek's 1920 play "R.U.R." (Rossum's Universal Robots).
Asimo began working the crowd as soon as he arrived at the dinner late on Thursday, telling jokes, greeting Spidla warmly, and even making a champagne toast before wisecracking that he couldn't drink himself because he is underage.
"Let's drink to Japan and the Czech Republic, and to the friendly relationship between humans and robots," Asimo, made by Honda, said in perfect Czech.
"If Capek could see me, he would definitely be surprised."
Spidla smiled at the robot but seemed at a loss for witty conversation.
He turned down Asimo's request for a dance saying only:
"I like science and various technically advanced things."
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (L) applauds while his Czech counterpart Vladimir Spidla (R) shakes hands with the robot Asimo Honda, before a dinner at the Hrzan's Palace in Prague, August 21, 2003. (Petr Josek/Reuters)
Asimo, a 1.2-meter (4-foot) tall robot designed by Honda, brings flowers to the bust of Czech author and playwrighter Karel Capek in the hall of the National Museum in Prague, Friday, Aug. 22, 2003. Asimo was brought to Prague by visiting Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to pay tribute to Capek, who invented the word 'robot' in his 1921 play 'R.U.R.' (Rossum's Universal Robots). (AP Photo/CTK, Michal Dolezal)
It is no more a robot than the remote controlled "battlebots", or the "robot wars" machines are robots.
It is still just a remote control machine, althogh technically advanced enough to maintain it's balance on two feet, walk, and do some other programmed movements.
A true robot would operate completely independent of human intervention or guidance, be able to differentiate between inanimate objects and animate ones, and further differentiate between machine, animal and human.
Additionally, it would be able to carry on a discussion with a human, and respond in an intelligent manner. (artificial intelligence )
Asimo does not even come close to the definition of a robot yet.
I would, however, consent to the definition of "robot" if it could demonstrate the ability to perform tasks without a human operator. ( clean a room, mow a lawn, gather certain randomly placed objects while leaving others undisturbed, demonstrate the ability to distinguish between a stuffed animal and a family pet, or between an animal and a human child, or for that matter, between trash suitable for disposal and a child.)
All in all, pretty, but useless.
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