Don't worry, the robot apocalypse is not upon us...yet. Wired reports it may be closer than you think:
"The 'Humanoids with auditory and visual abilities in populated spaces' (HUMAVIPS) project has the ambitious goal of making humanoid bots just that bit more human by building algorithms that will enable bots to mimic what psychologists call the 'cocktail party effect' -– the human ability to focus attention on just one person in the midst of other people, voices and background noise.
If successful, HUMAVIPS will give future humanoid bots something that existing bots don't possess -– the simple social skills necessary to deal with small groups of people, including the basic intelligence to pick out a group of humans and determine which ones want to interact with it. It could also endow bots with the ability to infer meaning from incoming sense data, which would be a rudimentary step towards truly anthropomorphic robot intelligence."
Read more at Wired.
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