Liberals desperately try to program ‘debate’ function into Tony Abbott’s robot hard drive

July 15, 2013 1:00 PM

The Tony android utilises its speech abilities. (Photo: David Jackmanson)

Liberal party engineers have worked frantically for the past week in the hope of adding ‘debating’ to Tony Abbott’s robot abilities. The Leader of the Opposition, also known as The Tony v6.0.1, was challenged by Kevin Rudd to a debate on the economy last week. However, the Coalition was forced to ignore the contest as ‘reasoned argument’ did not form part of The Tony’s current software. Liberal staffers have since spent day and night trying to develop such capabilities, as pressure mounts to face off with the Prime Minister.

“We didn’t think we’d need this functionality,” said humanoid programmer Neil Summers, “just weeks ago the Labor party were imploding to such an extent that we pretty much stopped upgrading The Tony’s system. We figured all we’d need to do until the election was dress him up in various tradesman apparel and have him say cranky sentences about Government incompetence. Now all of a sudden he’s being challenged to debates about complex subjects, we just weren’t ready for this kind of thing.”

Summers admitted that, though disappointing, hurdles like this were bound to come up at some point. “We’ve had a good run so far,” he explained, “there is the occasional hiccup, like in 2011 when a reporter asked a loaded question and the whole system crashed for 30 seconds. And obviously the physicality of the android is not 100%, many of The Tony’s movements are still quite robotic. For the most part though we’ve gotten quite lucky. Thank god no-one’s asked him to crouch or jump or feel, we haven’t figured out how to have him do those things either.”

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