improv. | magazine

MAKEITSTOP; robot child chosen to carry Olympic flag

Those eyebrows aren't even Photoshop'd in - it's that scary.

I told you, didn’t I? The worst has happened – it was only a matter of time before robots started to take part in sporting events. What next? – Cookery? The care sector? Complete autonomy? Now you see why I’m afraid.

This little fella’, cute though he may be, has been nominated to carry the Olympic torch across Great Britain in the run-up to the contest next year. iCub, developed by Aberyswyth University’s Professor James Law, will likely be the face we’ll see on torched crimson-soaked banners across the planet as our cities burn and our families run for cover.

Law has suggested that iCub is designed to learn from its environment, just like a human toddler (it begins!) and should be allowed to run with the torch as a tribute to WWII codebreaker and father of computer science Alan Turing. Here’s hoping Turing had plans for a time-machine, so he could come back to 2012 and kick iCub in the face.

What better way to celebrate human achievement than by allowing a creation that will ultimately bring about the destruction of our race run in one of the most prestigious, widely-broadcast sporting events in the world?

Seriously, though, all this talk of robots that can pick up information from their environment is extremely exciting stuff, even if it does have to have a freaky face stuck on the front of it.

About the Author - Sam Horton

Nerdy gent from Nottingham, England with delusions of grandeur and an overwhelming desire to be a kung-fu master. To win his heart, buy him biscuits.

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