Quiz about BirdBrain
Quiz about BirdBrain

Bird-Brain Trivia Quiz


Those bird-brain robots! They can be rigid, repetitive and irritating. But even dodo robots are finding a place among humans, as you will see.

A multiple-choice quiz by Godwit. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Godwit
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
361,029
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
1384
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: BigTriviaDawg (9/10), Guest 69 (7/10), Guest 45 (9/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Hotels, restaurants and bill collectors increasingly use "chatbot" or "virtual agent" robots. Some of them cheerily chirp along, helping us pay our bills on which communication device? Hint: Say or press "6". Hint

Telephone
Television
Teleprompt
Teleport

2. Audi, Lexus, Ford, Volkswagen and Stanford University had early programs to create self-driving robotic cars. But which company, known for Street View and for gathering personal Web data, led the flock? Hint

Hewlett-Packard
Sony
AOL
Google

3. Robots go boldly where no man has gone before, quite alone until they expire, in which star-studded arena? Hint

Deep sea
Space
Caves
Hollywood

4. Some say Westerners see robots as dumb ducks. In which advanced Asian country were robots very quickly integrated into society? Hint

Malta
Korea
Cyprus
Japan

5. The "Airburr" was a daffy robot who flew by trial and error, bouncing off obstacles as it blundered in generally the right direction. What kind of night insect also flops and bounces toward its goal? It's a tasty snack for a bat or a bird. Hint

Termite
Mosquito
Moth
Butterfly

6. Military autopilot robots roll out ahead of soldiers like scouting crows, collecting data on an identified enemy. What was bird-brained about this kind of helper? Hint

Rolled forward only
Blew tires regularly
Counted trees as enemy forces
New threats did not compute

7. A spambot is an online robotic computer program that seeks out addresses and then sends out bulk mail. How can a website use spambot dumbness to cut down on spam? Hint

Make it fall on a banana
Ask a security question
Use a green font
Post a "no spam" note

8. Robots who made mistakes, and needed to be corrected, had better success teaching children than know-it-all, perfect robots. What did dodo robots create in Japanese children that smart robots did not? Hint

Punctuality
Healthy appetite
Correct grammar
Joy in learning

9. Using a magnifying screen, doctors perform distance surgery using a robot, which is precise and steady. But robotic surgery has what limitation? Hint

Patients prefer human operators
Robotic surgery is rarely available
Robots tire easily
Patients prefer robot surgery

10. The annual Bacarobo contest seeks inventors who've created what kind of robot, a great fit for a quiz about bird-brain robotics? Hint

World's Stupidest Robots
Best Looking Robots
Farthest Flying Robots
Mail-Order Bride Robots


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Hotels, restaurants and bill collectors increasingly use "chatbot" or "virtual agent" robots. Some of them cheerily chirp along, helping us pay our bills on which communication device? Hint: Say or press "6".

Answer: Telephone

"H-e-l-l-o, how can I h-e-l-p you? Say or press 1 if you would like to pay your bill. I am sorry, I did not get that..." Most business phones are now answered by robots who cheerfully and mindlessly promise efficient assistance. Despite our irritation, a surprisingly large number of humans thank the robot or tell it to, "Have a nice day". Research shows that humans respond to voice and language cues even in an automated object.

Many robots are programmed to transfer the call to a human Floor Manager if sensors detect a loud and angry voice. That surely happens a lot with these annoying buzzards.
2. Audi, Lexus, Ford, Volkswagen and Stanford University had early programs to create self-driving robotic cars. But which company, known for Street View and for gathering personal Web data, led the flock?

Answer: Google

Google engineer Sebastian Thrun, co-inventor of Google "Street View", led the flock in design of the driverless car. His motivation was to save lives, save time, and save gas, by eliminating traffic congestion and accidents. Their robot-controlled car handled all kinds of traffic conditions and geography, though it was rear-ended at a stoplight. Nevada, Florida and California first legalized US driverless cars in 2012, with strict guidelines, and many unanswered questions about liability and ethics. For instance, if a car driven by a robot gets into an accident, who foots the bill? What if the silly goose does not have real-time road condition GPS (Global Positioning System) data, so it flies through a construction zone or into a pothole? Can someone hijack a driverless car?
3. Robots go boldly where no man has gone before, quite alone until they expire, in which star-studded arena?

Answer: Space

Space probe robots are good at repetitive, precise measurements and maneuvers, working alone without loneliness or complaint. They've been launched into distant space like Noah's birds, seeking land or life on the outer planets. A "probe" is specifically designed to take photographs and scientific research measurements during its long, one-way flight, but the information has to be sent back to humans for processing.

The television series "Star Trek" used this beautiful theme: "Space: the final frontier...to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before." Much earlier, Captain James Cook and H.P. Lovecraft spoke similar words of adventure and desire.
4. Some say Westerners see robots as dumb ducks. In which advanced Asian country were robots very quickly integrated into society?

Answer: Japan

Japan has an advanced comfort with robots, at home, school and industrial plants. The Japanese see robots as working alongside humans to create social and economic growth, and they view "objects" such as rocks or robots as non-human, yet having "spirit". Humanoid robots fit comfortably into the Japanese world view.

In the West robots tend to be seen as "replacing" people by doing work for them, and as lifeless, repetitive hunks of metal without spirit (except lovable robot friends in the movies).

As robots excel at "human" skills like language or providing comfort, Westerners struggle with the ethical question, "Then what is uniquely human?" (Naho Kitano, Waseda University). By 2004 Japan was far ahead of all other countries in numbers of robot companions throughout the culture. Honda has long been a world leader in design and placement of humanoid robots.
5. The "Airburr" was a daffy robot who flew by trial and error, bouncing off obstacles as it blundered in generally the right direction. What kind of night insect also flops and bounces toward its goal? It's a tasty snack for a bat or a bird.

Answer: Moth

Moths are night insects that blunder toward their goals, with sturdy thick bodies that can take the bashing. Made by Ecole Polytechnique Fderal De Lausanne ((EPFL) robot "Airburr" was similarly daffy. With no spatial-orienting equipment, it simply monitors its speed as it bounces off obstacles, recovers, and starts out again. If it falls, legs deploy it back into the air.

In a chaotic, exploded or radioactive building, in a cave or in the dark, Airburr is the bird of the hour. Non-flying robots who clean household floors and swimming pools use a similar trial-and-error method.

More sophisticated flying robots tend to be spatially confused by clutter, and disoriented in the dark.
6. Military autopilot robots roll out ahead of soldiers like scouting crows, collecting data on an identified enemy. What was bird-brained about this kind of helper?

Answer: New threats did not compute

Robots are stymied when they encounter unfamiliar threats, or those that quickly change. Military robots reduce workload, reduce human presence, and lessen danger to humans. They roll out ahead of troops, using sensors, lasers and cameras to locate enemies, and then collect data on enemy numbers and strength.

The "Stryker" light armored vehicle was one of dozens of robots the Army tested. The problem was soldiers said they felt out-of-control and irritated when the robot took full control, and robots couldn't be relied upon to interpret changed or new threats with accuracy.
7. A spambot is an online robotic computer program that seeks out addresses and then sends out bulk mail. How can a website use spambot dumbness to cut down on spam?

Answer: Ask a security question

Most automated spambots cannot answer a security question such as, "What is your father's middle name?" Spambots are also bamboozled by email that requires a reply to confirm their intention, by words in inconsistent print size, and by heavily scripted words. Still, over the course of a typical year the bots sent out more than seven trillion spam messages. Spambots got their name from a Monty Python comedy sketch, where unwanted spam (a precooked pork meat in a can) appeared in every dish.
8. Robots who made mistakes, and needed to be corrected, had better success teaching children than know-it-all, perfect robots. What did dodo robots create in Japanese children that smart robots did not?

Answer: Joy in learning

Joy in learning is the answer. In Japan, researchers S. Matsuzoe and F. Tanaka studied human interactive communication with robots. They found that a simple-minded humanoid robot which drew shapes and translated meaning, sometimes making mistakes, had a far more positive impact on young kids than a wise owl robot giving consistently right answers.

When kids sometimes had to correct or instruct their robot teacher, those kids learned faster, and, surprising the researchers, they showed an increased joy and excitement about learning overall.
9. Using a magnifying screen, doctors perform distance surgery using a robot, which is precise and steady. But robotic surgery has what limitation?

Answer: Patients prefer human operators

Surgeons use computers to operate an automated robot from any location, called remote or telesurgery. A prime example is the da Vinci robot which has 4 arms and makes impressively precise incisions. So what may be limiting about remote surgery? Many patients have yet to develop a trust in automated robots, and sometimes MDs cannot fully see all robot actions from the screen, never mind the cost. 1945 was the first design, but in 2013 remote surgery boomed. That year there were 2,500 da Vinci's costing $2 million each in 2,000 US hospitals, having done some 400,000 prostate, heart, colon, kidney, uterus, lung and many other surgeries.
10. The annual Bacarobo contest seeks inventors who've created what kind of robot, a great fit for a quiz about bird-brain robotics?

Answer: World's Stupidest Robots

"Baca" means stupid in Japanese, where the World's Stupidest Robot contest began in 2010. To enter the robot must operate without assistance, be completely useless, and must be funny. Shivering robots stood inside a fridge; a cat robot worked an over-sized tongue; and a box moved and bleated.

A favorite robot created a water puddle and then jumped over it. FanBot Jozsi, a soccer fan, was a winner. This robot sat on a couch eating popcorn and watching a soccer game. He could wave a flag and shake his head.
Source: Author Godwit

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor WesleyCrusher before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.
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