today's show and tell in the computer lab has some great PhD talks - the first one by laurel riek was a great start (about affec tive responses in robots' interactions with humans) - I was reminded of gregory bateson's essay on dolphin communication (how most their dialogues must be about social relationships, rather than about the concrete world, because they don't have hands and so wont reason able things that can be manpulated nearly as much as we (or other monkeys) do - he also discussed our understanding of dogs/cats and their communication - it might do well to look at making robots that interact with us as pets initially, since this is a simpler world (althoguh, of course, most our interactions with pets are about social relationships, and very furstraing if one wants to interact about some concrete world action or state, whereas I suppose that is the main place one wants to work in practice with robots and androids).
I also recommend reading John Sladek's excellent novel, Roderick, or the education of a young machine.
See also these excellent comments on the role of Universities:
tement for many people on this list nevertheless I presume...
Maybe it was more "snow and tell" than "show" :-)