Most comedians will admit that facing hecklers and being on the road night after night requires a machine-like fortitude to remain sane. That should be no problem for RoboJase, an artificially intelligent android who recently performed at a comedy club in England.
PHOTOS: Synthetic Creatures Could Save the Planet
Modeled after Jason Bradbury (above, right), host of The Gadget Show, the robot uses a synthesizer to replicate his voice. Although the jokes are pre-recorded, RoboJase is equipped with facial recognition that reads the audience's reaction to decide what material to use.
Bradbury said RoboJase originated when North One TV, makers of The Gadget Show, asked the on air talent to replace themselves with artificial intelligence. "Since then, RoboJase has developed from a talking head to a life-size fully functioning robot," he told the Guardian. "Naturally I'd like to keep my job, so we thought we'd test him out on the comedy circuit instead."
RoboJase shared a bill at the Glee Club in Birmingham with professional comedians Michael Legge, Rob Deering and Lee Ridley, who uses an iPad when performing since his cerebral palsy prevents him from speaking.
"Technology tends to get a bad press in comedy routines, whether it's Peter Kay's nana getting to grips with the answering machine or Flight of the Conchords' song The Humans are Dead, so it'll be interesting hearing what technology makes of us," said Mark Tughan, owner of the Glee Club.
BLOG: Morphing Robot Sculptures May Soon Roam Parks
Tughan added: "If he does perform well, it could be the start of a whole new career for RoboJase."
Want to catch RoboJase's set? You'll have to tune in the The Gadget Show next month. In the meantime you can hear Bradbury talk about his robotic doppelganger in this video.