The smell of robot

  • PopPress
  • July 15, 2014
  • StopPress Team
The smell of robot

Recently, a chatbot called Eugene Goostman is thought to have passed the Turing test by convincing a few people it was a 13-year-old boy (RadioLab discussed the issue of talking to machines in a great podcast a few years back). And as artificial intelligence continues to develop, human-android interactions will become an increasingly common—and perhaps problematic—occurrence. But even if they have our sentience, they can never have our smell. Unless ...

In a continuation of its quality absurdvertising, a new campaign from Old Spice shows how its aromas can make a woman love a robot, even if its face falls off or it crushes her ribs. 

As Slate wrote: "These ads are heteronormative and reductive, but they also offer some intriguing questions about human-android interaction. ​Can people be attracted to or fall in love with humanoid robots? Do things like smell make it easier for humans to accept androids? Maybe Old Spice holds the key to minimizing the uncanny valley (the aesthetic gray area in which humanoid robots are unsettling to some humans because their look or movements aren't convincing enough)." 

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Thanks for watching, or not

  • PopPress
  • June 28, 2017
  • StopPress Team
Thanks for watching, or not

Admit it, when you're watching TV and the ads come on, your head drops to your phone and remains there until the programme resumes. American telecommunications equipment company Qualcomm has embraced this phenomenon with some clever advertising.

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