Posted: October 18, 2010 by Wildcat in Uncategorized

Bilingual, bicultural ‘Roboceptionist’ on its way

The computerized “Hala” will be able to translate not just language but nuance when dealing with multicultural visitors. Researchers at the University of Arizona and Carnegie Mellon University are working to create a robot receptionist. What makes the effort novel is that the “roboceptionist” is bilingual and bicultural – a computer with a face and a natural language interface. A three-year, $1 million grant from the Qatar National Research Foundation is funding basic advances in human-computer interaction. Majd Sakr, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, is the principal investigator on the grant. Reid Simmons, a professor at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute in Pittsburgh, and Sandiway Fong, a UA associate professor of linguistics and computer science, are the co-PIs. Carnegie Mellon University will provide the robotics innovations, while the UA will supply the language technology. Fong spent part of his sabbatical leave in 2009-10 at Carnegie Mellon’s Qatar campus where an existing version of the roboceptionist, called Hala, greets visitors in English and Arabic. (via Bilingual, bicultural ‘Roboceptionist’ on its way

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