The Creaking Tree Society

Fight the bot menace

Why overconfidence in robotics can put our loved ones in peril

The Hindu is a family newspaper with a strong ethical code. This is why, when they do a story on robot companions, they focus on companions for the children, rather than sex robots — a sunrise industry whose time has nearly come.

Nevertheless, their focus is timely. Overconfidence in robotics can put our loved ones in peril. Anyone who has seen a Boston Dynamics demonstration of their latest robot will realise the risks inherent in letting them loose on youngsters and senior citizens.

Most current robots cannot bend down and turn a doorknob without falling over. These are large, metallic items with extremely limited motor skills and the IQ of a kitchen implement. Does it make sense to let one loose on granny? Within five minutes of switching it on, it would probably decapitate her and say ‘Oopsie, I did a boo boo,’ because you were too cheap to buy from a reputed company, and they sent the children’s model by mistake.

But sex robots are a far more immediate threat. By ignoring them in the name of decency, we are failing in our duty to the public. Even if you pretend you’re not planning to buy one, as soon as prices go down, it’s important to know the facts. Worldwide, the most strenuous efforts in the field of robotics are being devoted to the development of sex robots, especially in Japan.

The best-selling models are actually large plastic dolls, sometimes with a coating of silicone, but they call them robots, because no one wants to admit that they are paying 10,000 dollars for a large plastic doll, because they like the cut of her jib. They cannot move. The ones that can talk have a limited vocabulary, mostly encouraging. But they do not represent a genuine menace so far. Actual sex robots would be far more risky, with electrocution being the least of your potential hazards.

As anyone who has seen The Terminator can tell you, some day soon, the robots will rise. Your sex robot will at this point take over your phone, your laptop, your Internet and Alexa, and you will be naked and vulnerable. Your chances of escaping and joining the survivors to start a guerrilla movement will be severely compromised.

Luckily, all this is applicable only to men. All energies in the sex robot industry have been exclusively devoted to developing female sex robots, from which we can infer that women themselves prefer humans. Which means that when the robots eventually do rise, men will be immediately wiped out. Women will have more of a fighting chance, and who is to say this is a bad thing? So all the best for the future, ladies! Just remember to keep some weapons handy, and wear boots with rubber soles.

Shovon Chowdhury’s most recent novel, Murder With Bengali Characteristics, features an intelligent car that is extremely annoying

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 3:05:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/fight-the-bot-menace/article30963221.ece

Next Story