Computers: Ouch! Oooh! Cut It Out!

Oooh! Cut It Out!" In Boston, intelligent machines talk, paint, see and suffer

With a wave of skeletal hands and a blink of metallic eyelids, an engaging humanoid named Jorel plays the role of high-tech tout to the hilt. But while a human huckster would vary his spiel, Jorel repeats the same phrases over and over. "Humans," Jorel announces with a flourish, "you are witnessing the beginning of a great new era." Watching the performance, Graphic Designer Jill Sacherman is impressed by Jorel's "lovely" tapering fingers but finds his clicking teeth off-putting. "It's just a little bit creepy," she says.

Jorel is the first display encountered by visitors to "Robots and Beyond," an exhibition...

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