Toyota combined the Japanese words for hope and robot and made a 4-inch little waste of metal and plastic they’re calling “Kirobo.” It can’t walk or move, but it comes equipped with a camera, microphone and Bluetooth, and Toyota says it has the intelligence of a five-year-old kid.
Basically, it can’t do much other than provide vaguely applicable feedback to your statements, but Fuminori Kataoka, the general manager of the project, said Kirobo’s value is emotional, and it will give the desperately lonely people who buy it the illusion of companionship in their otherwise lonely, desolate lives.
While that may actually be the single saddest thing I’ve ever written, the increasing alienation and isolation of our modern world isn’t my gripe here. I finally got around to watching the premiere of Westworld last night, and I’m starting to get dismayed by the lag between the awesome robots we see in movies and on television and the complete waste-of-time bullshit like Kirobo I get in real life.
Is it too much to ask for a goddamned slave bot I can make clean the house, mow the lawn or maybe even pick cotton if I get drunk enough to buy cotton seeds and plant them in our little herb garden?
We blow trillions of dollars in this country waging wars for no discernible purpose, and I think we’d be better served plowing that money into advanced robot design and research.
If we committed all of our country’s resources to this project, in ten years we could all be kicking back in our space loungers getting WALL-E fat while these metal automatons do all the stuff I’m now being forced to do because my stupid town ran off all the Mexicans from the Home Depot parking lot.