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Here's how it works. You make a person sized robot with just about everything that a human would need. You wire up an imitation group of, say, ten people with sensors detailing everything they see and hear and how they interact. The robot records everything and reacts just as they reacted whenever close
to the visual and audial stimuli come about. When multiple reactions are applicable it chooses one at random. If something happens where there is only one stimuli it will also react in that way. It would hopefully only be able to see vaguely that a human shape exists so when someone says "hello" it would respond with a random response of the imitation group.
Obviously, there will be lots of other places where the imitation programming would work, as well as places where the imitation programming would fail. For one, the robot would say proper nouns much more often than necessary, but this could be avoided by either understanding on the part of those dealing with the robot or by the imitation group and their family avoiding the use of them.
||I don't follow all the details, but I believe that this is
how tory MPs work.
||This idea is a bit more sophisticated that that, in that the robot
might eventually be able to react in an almost meaningful way