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Humanoid Robots Can't Outsource Their Brains to the Cloud Due to Network Latency

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Osaka Univeristy roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro and his robot double.

It is impractical to offload the intelligence of a humanoid robot to the cloud or a remote data center, says Osaka University roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro, due to network latency issues.

Credit: Ars Technica

Osaka University roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro says offloading a humanoid robot's intelligence to a data center or a cloud computer is impractical because network latency issues ensure the android's interaction speed would be adversely affected. He says the result would be a robot whose reaction time is too slow for humans to engage comfortably with it.

The issue plays a role in Ishiguro's latest area of research, an android that can hold dialogues with people on limited topics while performing believable, dynamic body language.

Ten local personal computers feed intelligence to the android, which assimilates data from various sensors. The robot also is capable of vocal and facial recognition, according to Ishiguro. He says the next step in the android's development is the creation of an "intention engine" so it can identify the conversational intentions of the humans it observes and with whom it speaks.

"For the robot, it's better to understand the human's intentions and desires if they are to have better relationships with humans," Ishiguro notes.

The roboticist also plans to deploy an English-language chatbot engine so the android becomes multilingual, an important consideration in the transition to what Ishiguro calls a "robot society," in which robots are routinely used "in daily situations."

From Ars Technica
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