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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Feel (emotions) (08/26/10)

TITLE: Emotibot
By Jody Day



“Take…me…to…your…leader,” said Rayvoid in robot drone.

“You may have been programmed with a human humor chip, but it is not appreciated here. Do you have your report?” said RL10, the Supervisor of the Robot Human Emotion Experiment. The program, dubbed Emotibot, sought to improve the advancements in Robotics to include human emotion software.

Rayvoid switched the communicator button on his torso control panel to normal human English.

“I have it, sir, but I can tell you right now that I have been programmed incorrectly,” Rayvoid said, then added while flailing his arms up and down, “Danger, danger, Will Robinson.” He had downloaded too many science fiction television programs that always seemed to link to his humor chip.

“I require more information. Please state the purpose of your experiment and a full account of your observations,” RL10 said.

“Yes, sir. I was programmed with a series of keywords and images that would trigger an appropriate outward response. For instance, if I detected the word “starvation” my computer should cause a frown and possibly the word “sad” or “help”. I was assigned to observe a Christian family to determine if my responses are a reasonable parallel to theirs. I have computed that the software is obsolete or possibly I have been programmed with the wrong keywords.

“Explain your conclusions, Rayvoid,” RL10 said.

“The family settled in for an evening of watching television. On the news program there was a report of a catastrophic hurricane in a third world country. I detected the keywords ‘destroyed’, ‘hunger’, and ‘death’. There was no response. They simply used the remote control device to change the channel.”

“No response at all?” RL10 asked.

“No sir. The next program was their local news. A fire was reported and the words ‘homeless’, ‘3rd degree burns’ and ‘needs’ were used. Still no response. I conclude that they must have been disconnected from their power source or I have been programmed with the wrong keywords.

“Any further conclusions?” asked RL10.

“I compute that the Christian software is unnecessary. Their responses are the same as non-Christian people groups. Further, I would add more keywords related to money, food, and material things,” Rayvoid said.

“The addition of those keywords, as they relate to human emotions, is based on what conclusion?” RL10 asked.

“The female teenager asked her male parental unit for cash. His negative response triggered crying, complete with tears, and angry contortions of her face. Then there was a discussion of a planned purchase of a new car. I detected the words ‘joy’, ‘fun’, and ‘status’ which seemed to trigger the ‘happiness’ emotion. The most significant response was the use of the word ‘love’ in connection with the apple pie that they were consuming during this discussion.”

“Your conclusions are similar to 90% of the reports we have collected so far. There is a research project planned to determine why the 10% seemed to be more connected to their power source than the rest. The scanner detects some equipment damage around your vision portals. You should report to the lab for repairs,” said RL10.

“Yes, my software responded to the keywords programmed into my computer. Simulated tears were released during the news programs. I think my vision portals are beginning to rust.”

Rayvoid was programmed to say ‘Thank you, goodbye,” upon leaving the presence of his supervisor, but his humor chip uploaded “I’ll be back,” complete with Schwarzenegger tone and accent. This triggered RL10’S dormant humor chip to log on to his system, and the robot smiled.

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This article has been read 977 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon09/02/10
This was far fetched, but enjoyable none the less. Robots with emotions is a novel concept. thank you for a very interesting story. Good job and God bless.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/05/10
This was wonderful. In fact I did laugh but I also felt like crying. You did an outstanding job without being preachy. It was also fresh and original.
Rachel Phelps09/07/10
Outstanding! This is an excellent xample of out-of-the-box writing wirh a pointed message. Some of the beginning bits dragged a bit,but this is wonderful!
Caitlyn Meissner09/08/10
This was fun to read! I feel sorry for the Christian family, but I know from experience that it's hard to be truly Christlike. Good job! I hope you do well.
Cheryl Harrison09/08/10
Very creative take on the topic. Human behavior viewed through the eyes of a robot with a little humor here and there. I enjoyed reading this.
Amanda Brogan09/08/10
This is awesome! Great for engaging the good ol' emotions chip. ;) I giggled at many parts and it pained my heart that those Christian families were no different than secular ones. At first I expected the robot to say that they were more caring, self-controlled, etc. I especially liked the part about those families being "disconnected from their power unit." If we ever find ourselved "malfunctioning," it's time to plug in to the power of Christ!

GREAT job on this one!
Nancy Bucca09/08/10
What an accurate description of the way Christians get programmed to act like the world in so many ways. Funny too.
Kate Oliver Webb 09/08/10
This was SO good!! Totally unexpected on this topic, but refreshing and delightful with that wonderful message at the core. Really a wonderful job!
Edmond Ng 09/08/10
A very good read, yet not without a degree of sadness because of the many believers who differ little from non-believers. If only we have the heart, we would know where our priority should lie. Thanks for sharing this.
Ivy Strader09/09/10
Great job. It's hard to keep up a Christlike attitude in the face of the news channel. I really enjoyed reading it.
Amanda Brogan09/10/10
Congrats on getting second place! I enjoyed this one. :)