Robot Parents to Replace You Sucky Moms And Dads? USC is Working On It

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Tue, Apr 10, 2012 at 1:12 PM

click to enlarge Robot researcher Maja Mataric. - USC
  • USC
  • Robot researcher Maja Mataric.
American parents suck. They feed their kids corn syrup, plop them in front of TVs and iPads, and hope that the nanny's Spanish will rub off as a possible second language.

It's getting so bad that Yale University, with the help of L.A.'s own USC, is trying to develop a robot that will essentially do parents' jobs for them.

Well, that's not exactly how USC is spinning the project in a statement today (but it's certainly our read on it):

Over the next five years, the team led by Yale University will work to develop a new type of sophisticated, socially assistive robots to help children learn to read, overcome cognitive disabilities and perform physical exercise.

Sounds like mommy and daddy stuff to us, right?

USC says its part of a team that received $10 million from the National Science Foundation to look into these future parent-bots.

The school says the bots "will not replace human caregivers or teachers," but in the same breath it adds that researchers, led in part by Maja Matarić, vice dean for research and professor at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, want to ...

... create self-adapting machines capable of cultivating long-term, interpersonal relationships and assisting preschool-age children with educational and therapeutic goals.

Think baby won't look up to these machines and utter its first word -- Mommy!?

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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