These robots held a press conference, and darn if it wasn't cute

Technically Incorrect: In Japan, Kodomoroid and Otonaroid convene a public chat ... with a pair of mini-droids. Might this be a fine prognosticator of news conferences to come?

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.

Could these be the future spokespeople for stars and corporations? VStone/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

There are some elements of Futureworld that make me shiver like a shorn goat.

One delightful development, however, may offer a beautiful future.

Today in Tokyo, two robots held a press conference, and the assembled members of the media were beside themselves.

As IDG News Service reports, there were two large androids, and two mini-oids. The two minis, each about a foot tall, are new communications robots. Created by Japanese company Vstone, they can happily chat about all kinds of things.

Their voices produce the sort of baby talk that you might hear from small children -- or certain large lovers who, for some reason, like to revert to their childhood years when they want to express affection.

At this particular press conference, they chatted with their "adult" counterparts, the gloriously named Kodomoroid and Otonaroid.

As the AP reports, the robots' creator, Hirishi Ishiguro, explained that we shouldn't, in our arrogance, expect robots to understand us. Instead, we should learn to talk robot.

What a glorious thought that your Melinda could go to college and study Robolingo. This would surely be more interesting than, say, the sociology she has her naive heart set on.

There's an even more glorious thought: a complete reformulation of the press conference.

These days, those who are being asked questions -- whether it's sports stars or corporate CEOs -- come prepared with canned answers to whatever question might be tossed toward them. Indeed, the Seattle Seahawks' running back Marshawn Lynch has made an art form out of the media encounter.

How beautiful it would be, therefore, if, instead of sending real people who talk falsely, companies and sports teams sent pre-programmed robot versions of the personalities in question.

There'd be no equivocation. There'd be immediate replies. There'd be a cheery, if robotic, atmosphere every time.

Of course, the journalists might, unless they speak perfect Robolingo, have to be robots too.

But think how much human enervation would be saved. Think of the brevity of the whole event. Think of how there could be a robot who'd reply with more charm, and perhaps at greater length, than New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

Finally, an artificial intelligence that is heartening.