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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

My (brief) Life as a Robot

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John Markoff (left) interviewing Scott Hassan, Willow Grove

The New York Times

On Wednesday I attended a Silicon Valley press conference dressed as a robot.

Actually I was physically in New York City and virtually in Menlo Park, Calif.

For any one who has seen Iron Man 2, the whole event seemed like life imitating art. The only thing missing was Larry Ellison, making a fawning cameo.

Actually he might have been at the party after the press conference, but I had trouble navigating. It felt a little bit like attending a cocktail party (underwater) in a swimming pool.

It was one of the odder moments in my reporting career. I wasn’t the only reporter to pop into the press conference, which was held by robot maker Willow Garage to unveil their PR2 robot. Several of the other reporters stood up front (actually rolled because they were on wheels). I decided to lurk at the back.

From The New York Times
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