January 18, 2022

This Lifelike Robot Has Sass

The pace at which robotic technology is advancing is staggering, and soon we can expect to have robo-neighbours – or at least for one to flirt back.

Such an interaction happened at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2022, when Ameca the robot flexed its human-robot interaction skills with attendees at the annual technology showcase hosted at the Las Vegas Convention Centre in Winchester, Nevada two weeks ago.

The automaton – designed and manufactured by UK-based Engineered Arts – was one of the star attractions as it greeted incoming visitors and cracked the occasional joke about their looks.

However, one viral clip of a CES guest getting more than he bargained for when he asked if Ameca had a boyfriend.

“I do not have a boyfriend,” responded Ameca, before firing back with, “Are you asking for a friend?”

The man answered, “I’m asking for me”, giving the robot space to reply, “I see. Unfortunately I am not on the market. Robots do not have relations.”

The non-binary bot then quipped, “Do you have a boyfriend?”, to which the man sheepishly laughed, earning a dry remark: “I’ll take that as a yes.”

Engineered Arts added an automated speech recognition system onto the robot to convert sounds into strings of text which could be interpreted and used to produce pleasant interactions.

Despite the innovation, the company maintains that “human intelligence will still beat artificial intelligence every time.”

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