Siri ’29 (Sep, 1929)
Robots Answer All Questions
HOW England’s mechanical men work was recently explained. A youngster wishing to know the location of a restaurant sees one of the mechanical men on a street corner. Approaching him, he presses a button on his tummy. Almost instantly lights stare from under the steel man’s heavy eyebrows and a deep voice booms out, “What do you want to know?”
The youth startled, stutters, “Ppplease, where can I find a restaurant?”
“Three blocks and turn to your right,” the answer comes.
Bewildered, the boy follows directions and, sure enough, walks straight into a restaurant.
What has happened is this: When the youth pushed the button on the man’s stomach a light showed in front of a man in a control room some distance away. He immediately “plugged in” on the steel man from which the signal came. Conversation was possible by a microphone connection.