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Could This Robot That Reads Soon Be Your Restaurant Hostess?

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Take a look again. That's a robot.

Chyi-Yeu Lin and colleagues at the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology in Taipei have created a robot that can read music and sing -- however poorly. This eerily lifelike floating head is being taught human expression and interaction and researchers hope it may one day perform tasks like being hostess at a restaurant.

New Scientist describes how the robot works. First it takes a photo of the music with a camera built into its eyes. Then, using an algorithm, it figures out pitch, rhythm and lyrics. For now the robot's synthesizer sings in Mandarin.

See it for yourself here:

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