Talking with Rabbits

Wouldn’t it be great if you had a personal trainer available 24/7. Well that’s one of the potential applications of my work at Sheffield University. Over the next three years I will be developing artificial companions that are able to talk about specific topics. So you could soon spend the morning discussing your diet and fitness plans with a robotic bunny rabbit and the evening talking about what’s on the T.V. This presents all sorts of challenges, how can we simulate the emotive content of a conversation? Could a robot ever tell if you’re in a bad mood? How can it get to know you? Remembering your likes, dislikes and habits. We’ve still got a long way to go as you can see from the video our current generation of companions are a little “intrusive”.


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