JAPANESE scientists unveiled a robot with a sense of humour on May 20, and claimed it was capable of knowing when its jokes had fallen flat.
The pint-sized roller-skating Emiew2 – pronounced like the flightless bird – is able to have a short conversation with a human being, without being given a script.
The red and white robot picks key words from a sentence – for example, “how many” – to try to work out what question it is being asked, then confirms the inquiry before firing back an answer.
Engineers at Hitachi have programmed the android to understand a range of human responses, including non-verbal signals like nods.
It uses this comprehension to determine if its interlocutor has got the “joke” it has just told, the scientists said.