Posted 2/11/2012

The characters introduced in this comic are the first to show up that aren't at least partially inspired by actual people (or robots), but I think they'll have some very amusing storylines.

The sort of personality I have in mind for the robot (robotality?) is one that falls a lot closer to the modern day reality of artificial intelligence than most webcomic robots. Basically what I have in mind is that this robot would be what you would get if you could fit something like Watson (the IBM artificial intelligence that can win at Jeopardy) into a PC that an engineering grad student could afford, and fit it with voice recognition, a webcam to see with, and an artificial voice. This is not possible with current technology (in particular Watson currently requires a supercomputing cluster, though with ten or fifteen more years of the development of computer technology this could change).

Even with technology beyond what we have now, I do not see Bob the Robot as being particularly intelligent or sentient. Mike's roommate Dan, on the otherhand, may disagree with me. What we can agree on, however, is the hope that the last light on Bob's panel should never turn on.