Robotics professor Hiroshi Ishiguro has unveiled what he says is the world's first news-reading android — eerily lifelike and possessing a sense of humor to match her perfect language skills.
This latest plunge into the uncanny valley is named "Kodomoroid"—an amalgamation of the Japanese word "kodomo" (child) and "android." After delivering news of an earthquake and an FBI raid, she mocked Ishiguro, telling him, "You're starting to look like a robot!" Kodomoroid was flanked by a grown-up fellow robot, who acted like she had stage fright and began flubbing her lines when asked to introduce herself to reporters. "Otonaroid"— "otona" meaning adult— excused herself after a quick reboot, saying: "I'm a little bit nervous."
Both androids will take up residence at Tokyo's National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, interacting with visitors to collect data for Ishiguro's studies into human-robot relations.