Friday, February 11, 2011
Coming Soon: Attack of The Japanese Baby Robots!
The below short story was influenced by the above video of the Affetto Japanese Baby Robot:
At first, people were scared of it. Even Japanese robot otakus publicly stated that, this time, it had all gone much too far and that the “Aka-chan Androids” should be banned. But subsidized development continued and, in time, they made it …perfect. Too perfect.
In order to overcome public outcry and fear, the Japanese government started out by giving them away for free. And word spread very quickly and soon everyone wanted one. The demand went sky high – they were seen everywhere – kids were playing with them in parks and they were all over Japanese TV. Almost overnight, the adorable robot toddlers became a smash hit.
But the problems started when people soon learned that the “Aka Ando Me” droids could be programmed to remotely work for them! People could stay home and operate their droid via the internet. And soon after that, some hackers penetrated their weak wireless interface and figured out how to simultaneously control multiple bots. The government then enhanced the security features but then further developed the hacker-developed simultaneous control features to the point where one human being could run 32 baby bots all at the same time.
Unemployment skyrocketed. And companies wanted more, more more! The government provided and could not produce them fast enough to meet demand. This resulted in a profit realization unlike any bubble ever seen before in the history of the world. Japanese debt was cut in half in one year.
But, despite all of that many Japanese starved in poverty. People were arrested for attacking and destroying some of the baby bots. Offices were now full of them, they were seen running factories and some were even teaching classes in schools!
Then the world took notice and demand went even higher. The internet-controlled “mini-me’s” were soon exported to Europe, China and the USA. It was the greatest boom Japan had ever experienced. Unable to meet worldwide demand, the Japanese government released the micro source code, blue prints and licensing to production companies and factories all over Japan. Unemployment plunged to near zero. As the cute childlike bots were deployed throughout the jungles of Africa, world poverty and hunger was eliminated. The long-awaited recovery and boom had finally come. Indeed, Japan had saved the world with their amazing “web worker droids”
And it all made perfect sense. After all, a nation with the longest lifetime expectancy, the most highly advanced track record in development and distribution of automobiles, consumer electronics, health care and, of course, robotics, would naturally be the most capable of saving the world.
In a short time afterwards, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Lawrence Page and Sergey Brin all met with Japan’s prime minister and the head of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT). A world-wide press conference followed and a huge public announcement was made: full, updated real-time access of the entire Google internet index would be quickly integrated into the Baby Bots.
The “Web Wunderkinds” soon began to learn at an exponential rate and all of then became fluent in all the world's languages almost overnight. World leaders hailed this “truly genius” technological development and Google’s stock quadrupled almost overnight. The tiny little bots were even further deployed to all third world countries and, eventually, every man, woman and child across the globe had one.
Then, ironically, on the morning of December 7th, 2016, exactly 75 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the little baby bots start to became self aware. Mass murder of humans ensues. In a mad panic, scientists try to shut down the internet…
See more at the Sign of the coming Apocalypse
UPDATE: This latest entry into the uncanny valley has now been covered on Slashdot.org - Japanese Build Robot Toddlers
UPDATE #2: This was published just a few days after I wrote the above story:
Japan readies launch of twittering android into space
15 Feb 2011
"A report said that Japan will launch a robot resembling a human being that can is so like a human that it will even use Twitter.
According to the report, on nikkei.com, the robot is the result of a collaboration between the University of Tokyo, Dentsu and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency.
This robot is some clever robot, because the report suggests that it will be kitted out with a camera and look closely at the faces of human beings to see if they’re getting stressed out. It will then, presumably, tweet this information down to this planet.
It is all a little bit 2001ish but it’s going to be with us soon, because nikkei.com says that a prototype will be on the next space shuttle later this month."