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  • Hi! Neil from BBC Learning

  • English here.

  • Did you know that

  • we are now offering

  • a new weekly extra episode of 6

  • Minute English exclusively on our

  • website? So go to

  • bbclearninenglish.com

  • to find your favourite

  • presenters on your favourite

  • programme. The extra episodes are only

  • available on our website:

  • bbclearningenglish.com. See you there!

  • Hello. This is 6 Minute English from

  • BBC Learning English. I'm Neil.

  • And I'm Sam.

  • Do you think robots could ever

  • become intelligent, Sam?

  • Well, if you believe Hollywood  movies like 'Robocop',

  • robots will grow more powerful than their

  • human creators and take control.

  • You've been watching too many sci-fi movies, Sam!

  • But seriously - do you think robots will ever be

  • able to think or dream? Could they fall in love or create art?

  • It's hard to say but because of the huge advances

  • in artificial intelligence  over the last ten years,

  • questions like these are being asked more and more.

  • In this programme we'll be meeting a very

  • unusual 'person' (if that's the right word) who

  • could help answer some of these questions.

  • She's called Ai-Da, she's an artist who can draw,

  • paint and create sculpturesand she's a robot.

  • Yes, the humanoid robot, Ai-Da, uses a robotic arm

  • and a pencil to draw what it sees with a camera in its eye.

  • It's very life-like and can even talk to the

  • people whose picture it's drawing.

  • We'll hear more about this extraordinary robot

  • and the team of inventors behind her soon,

  • but first I have a quiz question.

  • The name, Ai-Da, uses the abbreviation for 'artificial intelligence' -

  • AI - to make a woman's first name, but which famous,

  • real-life Ada was the robot named after? Was it:

  • a) Ada Brown?,

  • b) Ada Lovelace? or,

  • c) Ada Maris?

  • I think it must be, b) Ada Lovelace.

  • OK, Sam, we'll find out if that's right later.

  • Of course building a realistic robot that can see,

  • hold a pencil and draw is not easy.

  • Behind the creation of Ai-Da was a team led by

  • Cornish robotics company, Engineered Arts,

  • and supported by engineers in Leeds who built

  • her robotic arms using AI systems developed at Oxford University.

  • Here's chief engineer, Marcus Holdintroducing presenter, Karl Bos,

  • to the still unfinished Ai-Da for the first time for

  • BBC World Service programme, In The Studio:

  • It's very strange because on first glance she looks

  • incredibly scary, a bit like a dystopian robot from

  • the future but when you see her move and

  • express she becomes incredibly cute.

  • People tend to refer to them as 'he' or 'she',

  • they're drawn to the robots. So much of our

  • communication is non-verbal – I'm gesturing with my arms,

  • I'm smilingand our robots – a big part of their appeal

  • and their human nature is in the way they behave

  • and move and it's great that you're picking up

  • on that from something that has no skin.

  • When Karl first meets Ai-Da he sees a wired-up

  • metal skull without skin. She looks like a robot from a dystopia -

  • an imaginary future world where

  • everything is badlike the movie 'Robocop'.

  • But as Karl spends more time with Ai-Da

  • he begins to see her move and express herself.

  • She smiles, blinks and uses facial expressions

  • and hand gestures known as non-verbal communication

  • to appear more human.

  • This human-like behaviour is part of Ai-Da's appeal -

  • the quality in someone that makes them attractive

  • and interestingand soon Karl is calling the

  • robot 'she' instead of 'it'.

  • Former art gallery owner, Aidan Mellor, manages

  • the Ai-Da project. Here he is speaking to

  • BBC World Service's, In The Studio,

  • about the complex process involved

  • in building a working robot:

  • We've got the programmers and researchers

  • working at Oxford University and Goldsmiths

  • and they're doing their algorithmic programming,

  • programming the AI that is going to be eventually

  • used for the art pieces that we're doing

  • But we've also got a couple of guys who are

  • actually working on her armher ability to draw

  • and actually getting her to do a compelling

  • drawing of what she sees. There's some battles

  • still to be won before the show, we will eventually

  • hopefully iron out all the issues before that time.

  • One challenge the team faced was building

  • a robotic arm that could allow Ai-Da to draw

  • pictures that were compelling – exciting, interesting

  • and able to keep your attention.

  • In combining an electronic AI brain with

  • mechanical robot eyes and arms there were

  • many battles to be wondifficulties and

  • technical obstacles to be overcome.

  • And at the time of the interview, the team

  • still had some issues to  iron outremoving problems

  • by finding solutions – before Ai-Da's opening show:

  • an exhibition of her artwork at The Design Museum in London.

  • Amazing! It's nice to think that a robot could be

  • the next Picasso instead of an out-of-control sci-fi policeman!

  • Yes, and the whole project was inspired by a real-life woman

  • whose name was?

  • What was the answer to your quiz question, Neil?

  • Ah yes, I asked Sam which famous Ada was

  • the real-life inspiration behind the robot, Ai-Da.

  • I said, b) Ada Lovelace. Was I right?

  • You wereright, Sam! Ai-Da is named after

  • Ada Lovelace, the 19th century English mathematician

  • and first computer programmer in the world.

  • OK, Neil. Let's recap the vocabulary from this

  • programme, starting with dystopia -

  • an imaginary future society where everything is bad.

  • Non-verbal communication is communication using

  • physical gestures and facial expressions instead of speech.

  • The appeal of something is a quality it

  • has which people find attractive.

  • If something is compellingit holds your attention

  • because you find it so interesting.

  • A battle to be won means a problem to be

  • solved or an obstacle to overcome.

  • And finally, to iron something out means to

  • remove or find solutions to a problem.

  • With artificial intelligence improving so fast

  • it may not be too long before we see robot

  • presenters of Six Minute English!

  • But until Sam and I are replaced by AI we hope

  • you'll join us again next time for more trending

  • topics and useful vocabulary,

  • here at BBC Learning English. Bye for now!

  • Goodbye!

Hi! Neil from BBC Learning

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B1 ai robot da ada karl draw

Robot artists - 6 Minute English

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/09/16
Video vocabulary