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'Robot' marks its 90th anniversary as a word

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It's not often we mark the anniversary of a single word around here, but this one's particularly close to our cold, electronic hearts -- it was ninety years ago today that the word "robot" was introduced to the public in Karel Capek's play "R.U.R." (Rossum's Universal Robots), which first premiered in Prague in its original Czech language in 1921, and came to New York a year later in English. As Gearlog notes, however, Capek actually gives credit for the origin of the word to his brother Josef, who suggested the term "roboti" that he derived from the Czech word "robota," which literally means "serf labor," and can refer to drudgery or hard work. Of course, robots themselves have evolved quite a bit over those ninety years, and -- given the pace of development as of late -- we're a bit hesitant to guess what things might be like when the 100th anniversary of the word comes around.

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