Every day there’s a new robot with improved capabilities that promises to eventually take over yet another job. But if you’re heading off to university soon, and want to ensure you’ve selected a career path that’s safe from robo-replacement, this agonisingly awkward video seems to confirm that rapping is not something robots will be good at for a long time. Probably ever, actually.
To present their research — which focuses on teaching robots human-like social behaviours by having them mimic us — a group of researchers from Kyoto’s Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute created this “parody” of The Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight.
Whatever you’re imagining, it’s probably worse.
Robot’s Delight probably isn’t going to become the massive hit that Rapper’s Delight was, and Erica the android isn’t quite as talented as Wonder Mike, but if you manage to make it through the entire video you’ll at least learn some things. Like how these robots were taught to study human to human interactions, and use what they observe to act and respond more naturally through body movements, and even spoken responses.
Despite the premise, the parody still won best video at the International Conference on Human Robot Interaction (HRI) a few weeks ago in Vienna. So just stop for a moment and try to imagine what the losing video entries must have been like.