Dufty, who observed the development of the robot while a postdoc, uses the unlikely story to meditate on the state of robotics and artificial intelligence. (Making a robot head out of your beloved is the futuristic equivalent of a sonnet, it seems. ) At a conference, he got to know roboticists from the University of Memphis who were working on an educational program called AutoTutor. If they combined Hanson's well-crafted heads and AutoTutor's basic conversational abilities, the roboticists decided, they could create an android - and why not craft it in the form of a science fiction writer preoccupied with the line between man and machine?
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