Meet Musio, A Robot That Talks Back

Natural language and machine learning company AKA says it’s taking the next step toward the creation of a robot that you can really, truly talk to, with a new project called Musio.

Members of the AKA team demonstrated an Android-based prototype for me last week. As you can see in the video, Musio should be able to carry on a normal conversation, complete with bad jokes and (thanks to Bluetooth connections to smart devices) magic tricks. Why would you want that? Well, besides the novelty and fun of having a talking robot, it could be useful for practicing English and other learning activities, and for controlling smart home devices.

Musio On Shelf

To be clear, this version of Musio is very much a prototype. Its conversation followed an established script (and I wasn’t allowed to butt in). But linguist Jacob Bradsher promised that when the product launches next year, it will be fully interactive.

AKA is crowdfunding Musio on Indiegogo. (The campaign page also offers a little more detail about the underlying technology.) The company aims to raise at least $50,000, with pricing starting at $99 for a “simple brain” version of the robot.