Stanford AI Lab Creates Workplace Robot that Bitches About Coworkers, Steals Yogurt

November 19, 2013 12:00 pm
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Stanford AI Lab Creates Workplace Robot that Bitches About Coworkers, Steals Yogurt

Earlier this week, the renowned Stanford artificial intelligence laboratory announced the release of “Howard,” a robot designed for use in the modern workplace. Using machine learning algorithms, Howard is able to perform tasks that until now, were only done by humans, such as gossiping about fat coworkers and playing Pandora too loudly. “Howard’s programming teaches him to approach problems like a human would, usually by angrily bitching about his boss or calling in a sick day,” reported Sam Weiss, the project manager, “it’s truly outstanding.”

Preliminary testing shows Howard capable of even more advanced human social interactions, such as subtly boasting about his kids’ achievements in the breaks between meetings, but there are still come bugs to work out. “Last week, we had a technical issue where Howard temporarily lost the ability to hide his disdain for the people around him,” Weiss reports “we had to stop the testing when Howard tried to assault another worker with his stapler.”

Other robotic scientists around the country are less than impressed by Howard, however. “Is this some kind of joke?” asked Robert Allen, computer scientist and professor emeritus at Yale, “there have definitely been some critical oversights in the robot’s design; Howard can’t even put greasy uncovered food in the microwave or pressure his coworkers to buy his kid’s shitty fundraiser cookies! Sure, they have the bells and whistles, but they’re missing the fundamentals.”

“As far as I’m concerned, Robert Allen can burn in Hell,” Weiss countered later in the week, “Howard is pushing the boundaries of what technology can do. His programming actually thinks like a shitty, underpaid brain would.” Howard was unavailable for comment, as he was too busy taking a loud personal phone call on speakerphone.

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