Magen Spriggs, Roboticist
Robots aren’t usually known for their artistic talents. Why would they need them anyway when there’s so much else they could do? But my team of researchers is rethinking this paradigm. We’ve worked for years to develop a robot, codenamed MusicBot, that can play music. However, the project has run into trouble; the robot will only play a music-like sound that we have dubbed “ska” — an onomatopoeia that represents the sound of someone changing the dial on a radio.
You see, this project has been going on since the nineties, and nobody ever clicked “yes” when the update prompt showed up. So now the robot is stuck like that. It’s gotten really bad. It used to just play the music, but now it’s formed hipster opinions on ska. It now dismisses “Zoot Suit Riot” as “too commercial” and “not within the spirit of ska.”
Despite its controversial opinions, MusicBot’s ska skills are unparalleled. From my test run, I confirmed that MusicBot can play any and all songs by “No Doubt,” “Sublime,” “Reel Big Fish,” and “The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.” By the end of the performance, I had grown a soul patch and wore sunglasses indoors.
Some of the researchers have suggested ways of getting around the ska glitch. Some say we could start with a bottom-up approach by, perhaps, tricking it into playing reggae, and then hopefully we can go from there. We’re just trying to direct it away from the ska. Others say we should use a middle-out approach and expose it to other, somewhat, ironically appreciated nineties material, such as “Cake” or “Smash Mouth.” Also, “Harvey Danger” is a considerable idea. Then, we could desensitize it to other music. However, we need to be careful with this stuff because it’s very volatile. It caught fire after being exposed to a “Weird Al” parody playing two blocks away.