I read a Financial Times special report last week on robots. It prompted a wry smile as it didn't mention an FT robot incident that I witnessed recently. I was waiting in the entrance hall of the FT building and we were corralled in a corner because an interview was going on with a robot - a proper one that could have come from a 1970s film - white, robot smiling face and for some reason, a screen on his chest. I am assuming it was a he. The hall was filled with cameras and journalists and the interview went as follows. 

Interviewer: Hello. What's your name?

Robot: Silence

Interviewer: What's your name?

Robot: (Long pause) I cannot answer that question.

Interviewer: Ok. Are you a robot?

Robot: Silence

Interviewer: Are you a robot?

Robot: Shake hands?

(At this point it's hand extends outwards but well to the left of the interviewer who has to take a step sideways to grasp the hand)

Interviewer: How old are you.

Robot: I was made in a lab in Paris.

Interviewer: Are you enjoying yourself in London?

Robot: What is your name?

(Titters all round by now. The robot owner has look of the parent of a bridesmaid who is swinging on the lectern during the wedding vows)

Interviewer: Would you like to meet the editor?

Robot: It's a lovely day 

Voice from the side: I don't know about you - but I'm not worried about my job.....


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