Robot Corner – More Comedians And Opera

Geoff Peterson may be facing a crowded field once his tenure on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson is over.  I noted last year the existence of robot comedians that aren’t the robot skeleton sidekick, and io9 has written recently on the work of Heather Knight at Carnegie Mellon.  Her robot comedian is Ginger, a much smaller robot comedian compared to the Robothespians I posted about.  This is, of course, my subjective opinion, but Ginger’s delivery strikes me as smoother and slightly more natural than Robothespians.  You can read more about Knight and Ginger over at CNN.  I’m still confident that Mr. Peterson will deliver the laughs.

Robots are also involved in opera.  The MIT Media Lab has been heavily involved in a production of Death and the Powers (H/T Alexis Madrigal’s 5 Intriguing Things).  The opera is an original composition following Samuel Powers as he attempts to survive his own death by transferring his existence into a different form.  (Think the recent film Transcendence and other science fiction treatments of the transference of consciousness beyond the physical body.)  Several computers are required to operate robots, and to facilitate the theatrical presentation of a disembodied intelligence.  The opera was most recently performed in Dallas this May.  I don’t think the technical requirements of the show make it easy to tour, but my opera knowledge is still heavily filtered through Looney Tunes and Fantasia.


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