Robot Journalist Takes Pictures, Asks Questions, Publishes Online
2010 03 29

By Aaron Saenz | SingularityHub.com

Robots are after my job.
[Ed note: I hear ya, brother]

Researchers at the Intelligent Systems Informatics Lab (ISI) at Tokyo University have developed a journalist robot that can autonomously explore its environment and report what it finds. The robot detects changes in its surroundings, decides if they are relevant, and then takes pictures with its on board camera. It can query nearby people for information, and it uses internet searches to further round out its understanding. If something appears newsworthy, the robot will even write a short article and publish it to the web. Charlie Catlett, from Argonne National Labs, seemed impressed with the bot, and it made a splash at the most recent meeting of the Information Processing Society of Japan. By combining real world and internet research, the journalist robot is taking a step beyond other automated systems. Give it enough time, and robots like these could become a valued asset for news feeds everywhere.


We’ve seen a growing trend for automated journalism in the last year. There’s software that can write a decent sports story or even generate original news video by compiling images and opinions from the web. Journalist robots, however, are really taking the phenomenon to another level. This is the first robot I’ve seen that gathers primary source information from people in the field. That’s real journalism, even if it’s at a primitive level. What’s more, if our experiences with crowd-navigated robots have shown us anything it’s that people seem to like helping bots in need. Robot journalists can go to areas too dangerous for human reporters. Back in 2002, MIT created the Afghan eXplorer robot to cover the war there. Of course, that robot was a teleoperated shell while the ISI bot is autonomous. Which means that we can make a huge number of these bots, send them out into the field unsupervised, and have them generate a new era of robot written media. People may even want to read it. Of course, human journalists are likely to be preferred for years to come. After all, the robot can’t take pictures, do independent research, interview witnesses, work under extreme stress, pull an all-nighter, make pithy pop culture references.


An older model of the journalist robot shows some of its components,
including a base adapted from a Segway.


Article from: SingularityHub.com

[image credits: Charlie Catlett via Twitter, ISI Lab]
[source: IEEE, ISI Lab (Google Translated), University of Tokyo Proposals (Google Translated), BBC News]




Related Articles
Invasion of the Robot Teachers! (Video)
Mitsubishi Smallest Robot Arm Builds Lego Van (video)
Top 10 Countries By Robot Density
Artificial intelligence: The robots are coming but are we ready for them?
Roxxxy the sex robot makes her world debut
New Robot Has Come To Conquer Human Race…With Snacks! :-) (Video)
Robots with a mind of their own (Video)
Robot prostitutes tipped to tempt future tourists
Rescue robot can pull victims into its body (Video)
Robot Makes Scientific Discovery All by Itself
Computers write news at Thomson (2006)


Latest News from our Front Page

Gene That Once Aided Survival in the Arctic Found to Have Negative Impact on Health Today
2014 10 23
In individuals living in the Arctic, researchers have discovered a gene variant that arose thousands of years ago and most likely provided an evolutionary advantage for processing high-fat diets or for surviving in a cold environment; however, the variant also seems to increase the risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, and infant mortality in today’s northern populations. {snip} “Our work ...
The Ebola hoax: questions, answers, and the false belief in the “One It”
2014 10 23
“The Reality Manufacturing Company doesn’t just sell ‘fake paintings’ that are easy to spot. No. They also sell images that are geared to mesh with people’s deeply held instincts and thereby produce rigid false beliefs. People are sure that if they gave up such beliefs, their world would fall apart and blow away in the wind.” ...
New Controversial Theory Suggests "Hobbits" Were Not Human - Who Were These Mysterious Beings?
2014 10 23
The origin of the Hobbit species remains a challenging subject to scientists. The Hobbit’s discovery confirmed the view that the Earth was once populated by many species of human, but new research the Hobbit’s were not human at all! So, who were these mysterious beings? Where did they come from? The idea that our species, Homo sapiens, was the only species of human on ...
Right into enemy hands? ISIS shows off new weapons allegedly airdropped by US (VIDEO)
2014 10 23
Islamic State has published a new video in which a jihadist shows off brand-new American hardware, which was purportedly intended for the Kurds they are fighting in the Syrian border town of Kobani. The undated video, posted by the unofficial IS mouthpiece “a3maq news”, sees a jihadist showing several boxes of munitions with English-language markings, with a parachute spread out on ...
STAGED INFECTION: Has The Ebola ‘Outbreak’ Narrative Fallen Apart?
2014 10 22
Over the past month, the ‘pandemic’ propaganda surrounding the deadly Ebola virus seemed to reach vitriolic levels – raising serious questions about the validity of this current viral outbreak… On Monday of this week, it was reported that 48 people were released and cleared after a 21-day quarantine due to their contact with the now deceased Ebola-stricken patient Thomas Eric ...
More News »