Wednesday, September 15, 2010
If you missed its performance, click here to view it now.
The OperaTron technology is really pretty amazing. The computerized voice is flawless, however the manufacturers were unable to create a child's voice with the necessary range, pitch, and overall quality to successfully mimic a professional opera singer, so the end result is an adult voice coming out of a child's mouth. The disconnect between what the audience is seeing and what it's hearing is a bit off-putting at first, but after a couple songs, you get used to it.
The OperaTron XJ-15 has a few other glitches as well. When it's not in "sing mode," OperaTron is only capable of two or three different facial expressions. It stares blankly into the distance, flashes a charming smile, and . . . okay, it's capable of two facial expressions. The artificial intelligence is also somewhat limited. The OperaTron understands basic questions such as "How does it feel to be performing in front of millions of people?", "What do you have to say to the judges after hearing their comments?" and "Isn't Piers Morgan an insufferable prick?"; however, its responses all begin with the phrase "I'm really amazed . . . " or "I'm very happy . . . ". It's a shame that after creating such an incredibly human-looking robot, OperaTron's software development department couldn't make it talk like an actual person.
Still, I have to give credit where credit is due. After all, it must've been tempting for the robot's designers to use their product for more profit-based ventures like drug-smuggling. Hell, they probably could've made millions mass-producing a whole army of Bomb-a-Tron XJ-15's and selling them to the Taliban. Instead, they chose to use their invention to perform opera classics on a contrived and cheesy TV talent show.
And for that, I applaud them. To quote the OperaTron XJ-15 itself, "I'm really amazed."