Your plastic pal who’s fun to be with (The Glass House 3/5/06)

In the US, they’ve started using robots at childcare nurseries. They’re hoping that by 2012 they can dispense with children altogether…

It’s part of an experiment to discover what it takes for machines and humans to develop long-term relationships. The kids are really enjoying it, but the robots are still coming to terms with the concept of ‘relationship’. “What…is…’love’?”

It’s been found that the kids spend more time in the room if the robot is there. That may be because it threatens to exterminate them if they leave.

The robots work really well with the kids, unless they’re set to DESTROY.

Yeah, that’s what we need in childcare – instead of teaching kids to care for each other, we teach them to empathise with robots.

It’s all part of the master plan: if we teach kids to trust robots when they’re young, they’re not going to fight back when the robots take over!

Once this generation of kids get to school age, they’ll have cyborgs giving them detention, extraterrestrials marking their essays, and the Loch Ness Monster in charge of the sandpit.

The robots are great at teaching the children: now, all the kids know how to count in binary, how to repair a short circuit, and they’re all experts at breakdancing! (robot dance)

It’s hard enough to deal with other people‘s emotions; who wants to deal with emotional machines? Do you really want to have to be on friendly terms with your ATM? Or deal with a moody VCR? Or a petulant washing machine? “I always have to do the washing… Can’t we go out to dinner instead?”

It all went well until some parents took a robot home and left their kid behind. They only discovered their mistake when little Robbie’s wheels needed oiling.

It all went well until one parent took the robot home and left their kid behind. The parents felt it was a definite improvement. “He’s toilet trained, he doesn’t throw tantrums, and he’s ideal for our plans of global conquest! Plus he does the washing.”

With just a little bit of oil, some batteries, and a regular defrag, you won’t need to upgrade your child for years.

The study has discovered that young children get on better with robots that are cute and fun, than with robots with flashing red eyes and deadly whirring blades…

Leave a Reply