Roboticist Alex Reben from MIT and filmmaker Brent Hoff are working on a robot that will help them create what will appear to be the first ever documentary film directed by robots. The robots, called BlabDroids, are little robot cinematographers that will do interviews to random people attending this week’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
These cute robots have the voice of a 7-year old boy, and are outfitted with digital cameras and speakers, enabling them to ask personal questions like, “Who do you love most in the world?” and “Tell me something that you’ve never told a stranger before.”
Apart from the noble goal of making the world’s first documentary directed by robots, Reben and Hoff are also trying to prove the veracity of the ELIZA effect, a theory in computer science that refers to our tendency as humans to engage more personally with artificial intelligence such as robots. Check out the video below to see the BlabDroids in action.