Japanese researchers at the ICD-LAB, led by Mayumi Ryoji, Ueno Shinsuke, and Tanigawa Komei, have unveiled PoKeBo Cube, small talking robots that let you listen in on their conversations. Whether it be the weather, news headlines, or just gossip, they let you be the outsider and listen in like you would with random strangers on the street.
Technical details were not revealed, but the project does mention ‘possible direct operation, long-term tangible social alternative interface’. Imagine loading these small robots with Google’s LaMDA 2 conversational artificial intelligence system. If that were to ever happen, you’d have small group of actual robots to talk to on just about anything, possibly even teaching you a new language.
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In this research, humans and robots interact with each other by using the
method that draws out the positive interpretations of the people around them, and the non-segmental sounds and ‘muffled sounds’ that are the minimum clues that direct the interpretation. We are exploring new ways of communication. In addition, we are exploring the aspect of physical and primitive communication between people that is possible by sharing the same body,” said the company.