Google Patents Douglas Adam's Genuine People Personalities For Robots

Google has apparently been awarded a patent for downloading a new personality to a robot from the cloud.

We claim:

1. A method for providing a robot apparatus with a personality, the method comprising: obtaining, by a first device associated with a robotic apparatus, information from a second device, wherein the information relates to communication between a user and the second device containing personification indicators, and wherein the first device is configured to interact with the user; in response to obtaining the information, the first device processing that information to obtain data usable to modify the robotic apparatus so as to provide the robotic apparatus with a personality, wherein processing comprises accessing a cloud computing system and analyzing one or more data of the information selected from the group of (i) characters, (ii) word-choice, and (iii) sentence structure relating to the communication between the user and the second device; and based on the data, the first device modifying the robotic apparatus so as to provide the robotic apparatus with a personality.

It seems to me that this download of new personalities to robots has some prior art (as the IP lawyers say). For example, from the popular cinema.

In the 2004 movie I, Robot, the most advanced robots, the NS5's, had a special feature: additional software and instructions could be downloaded wirelessly to individual robots. NS5's receiving a download show a red glow in the chest cavity, and demonstrate a decidedly different view of human beings and the services they require.

(Middle NS5 Robot Gets A Download)

A generation ago, Douglas Adams wrote about this in his 1979 classic The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He called them "Genuine People Personalities":

“Ghastly,” continued Marvin, “it all is. Absolutely ghastly. Just don't even talk about it. Look at this door,” he said, stepping through it. The irony circuits cut into his voice modulator as he mimicked the style of the sales brochure. “All the doors in this spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition. It is their pleasure to open for you, and their satisfaction to close again with the knowledge of a job well done.”

As the door closed behind them it became apparent that it did indeed have a satisfied sigh-like quality to it. “Hummmmmmmyummmmmmm ah!” it said...

"Thank you the marketing division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation," said Marvin, and trudged desolately up the gleaming curved corridor that stretched out before them. "Let's build robots with Genuine People Personalities," they said. So they tried it out with me. I'm a personality prototype. You can tell, can't you?"
(Read more about Adams' Genuine People Personalities)

Via Methods and systems for robot personality development .

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