Robot rhetorics

An announcement from Voice of America online (repeated from many other media sources over the past couple of days) nicely illustrates the slippery discourses of robotic ability.  Titled ‘Autonomous Aerial Robot Maneuvers Like a Bird,’ the article announces that researchers at Cornell University ‘have developed a flying robot they say is “as smart as a bird” because it can maneuver to avoid obstacles,’ then concludes several paragraphs later:

‘Still, hurdles remain before the robot could be used in a real-world scenario. It still needs to be able to adapt to environmental variations like wind as well as be able to detect moving objects like birds.’

Enough said.

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