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Here are two recent examples of chanting robots. These would make good fodder for discussion: why do they exist, why do they fail (or succeed), what can we learn?

The first is from Korea, where robotic substitutes for fans make the stadium seem less of a deserted wasteland:

A BBC report is here.

The second is an example of questionable use of Pepper, the annoyingly cute robot most likely to feature in a public display of science near you. Pepper is being used to chant at Buddhist funeral rituals. A brief report is here.


In conversational speech, we usually interpret the activity using a message passing metaphor, which imposes a categorical distinction between speakers and listeners. In joint speech, this is usually unhelpful. But sometimes there is a definite addressee, as in this protest video where the citizens chant “Do your job” to an elected representative. The improvisatory nature of the occasion is probably an important feature here.