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Stimulus Money for the Comical Robot

By Sean Stillmaker in News on Aug 21, 2010 3:00PM

Photo by punk_drizzle

Now that the political season is upon us our politicians are crying out for more jobs and government efficiency. They’re in fear that the people have grown weary of the perpetual fraud, waste and abuse. Too bad our representatives did not thoroughly read the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. We’ve spent millions of dollars for signs to tell us our money is at work, but tucked away is a grant of $712,883 for Northwestern University to develop a joke telling robot.

The goal of the project is to have the robot develop human skill on joke delivery, inflection and the possibility of improvisation. New technologies based on human creativity are being developed for Laugh-a-tron. Star Trek provided relevant context: when Data had his human emotion chip installed, he initially rejected it because it was too much to handle. To find out where more of our money went Bankrupting America taped the truth spending challenge.