Hajime Sorayama and Sony Corporation, 1999

  1. AIBO, derived from the Japanese word aibou meaning “partner,” and secondarily serving as an acronym for artificially intelligent robot, began as a skunkworks project at Sony around 1994. The question from its conception primarily regarded its function — What function would this robot dog serve? Takeshi Yazawa, vice president and general manager of Sony Entertainment Robot America, comments: “We had lots of arguments about whether AIBO should do something or not. But in the end, we all agreed that it wouldn’t do anything useful at all. It would be a pet. AIBO loves you, you love AIBO, and that’s it. In many ways it would have been easier for us to focus on trying to make a robotic washing ...

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