Now that our smartphones have gotten smart enough to talk back to us, researchers at MIT are harnessing their capabilities to create robots intelligent just enough to make us laugh and feel good. The Huggable teddy bear from MIT Media Lab may be smarter than your average bear, and its job is to entertain sick kids stuck in the hospital.
Behind the cute face and blue body is a smartphone and a bunch of sensors that detect when it’s being touched. When beins stimulated, the bear always responds naturally and with a friendly jest. The amazing thing is it talks too, understanding jokes, guessing answers to puzzles, and partaking in light conversation. It may seem smarter than any artificial intelligence demo you’ve seen before, but that is a friendly ruse since there’s actually a hidden person nearby that uses a laptop to type out the bear’s side of the conversation.
Take a look for yourself at what the Huggable bear is capable of: