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Will You Learn ROILA, the Robot Language, to Befriend Your Robot Overlords?


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roila logoResearchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands have been developing a new language that they hope will be easy for both robots and humans to learn. ROILA (Robot Interaction Language) was designed because modern speech-recognition software -- as anyone who has tried to use Voice Control on the iPhone or similar software -- is not refined enough to understand the nuances of most human languages, such as irregular verb tenses and contextual deviations in meaning.

The Eindhoven team utilized algorithms to generate ROILA's roughly 850-word vocabulary, which includes grammar staples like verbs, adverbs, adjectives, nouns and pronouns (I, you, he and she). Built from phonemes (linguists and 'Twin Peaks' fans should be intimately familiar with those basic units of sound) that are shared among major languages, ROILA sounds like Dutch, English and African lexica met in some kind of Esperanto-esque mashup. Example: Biwu wekepo buse kulil bubas? (What color is the museum?)

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