We all remember Prince Bertie memorably saying “I have a voice!” in The King’s Speech. But now, reports the BBC, if you hear this phrase in your workplace, it may be coming from a robot!
According to the BBC News Technology Web page, robots in the U.K. have been given audible “voices,” actually random language sounds, to “improve their intellectual ability” in communicating with one another, as well as to relate to different places.
Under this “Lindgodroid research project,” robots use the sounds to establish their location and move around. According to the article, this “lexicon has proved so sophisticated that it can be used to help robots find places other robots direct them to.”
But you won’t be able to understand what the robots are saying to each other. Human language is so loaded with information and nuances that robots can’t understand, says the Lindgodroid project leader Dr. Ruth Shulz. So, a robot language was created. The robots “understand the meanings of the words they invent, independent of humans,” says Shulz. Good thing robots don’t require mandatory training!
And… maybe you’d better rent 2001: A Space Odyssey before you place a robot on a work team—Wait! HAL spoke English!