Forget about all the robot assembly and manufacturing machines that are out to steal our jobs. As far as I can see, the only
occupations chores activities that are likely to be overrun by robotic thieves are sex and cleaning.
Let’s start with everyone’s favorite – cleaning. (I mean favorite in terms of one thing we’d like to have taken off our
to-do lists hands plates – including cleaning the plates.)
Of course everyone knows by now about the Roomba and its cousins, those vacuuming wizards and automatic cat transports. And although they’re not the Jetsons’ Rosie the Robot Maid, they’re fine. As far as they go. Which supposedly is around corners and table legs, over shag carpets and pet stains, and through any detritus (other than Legos) that is conveniently lined up in a perfect rectangle, according to the commercials.
But do you have any idea what other household chores have been usurped by mechanical minions?
A quick tour around the Internet reveals the possibilities. As of this writing, there are, in addition to mechanized, self-propelled vacuums, robotic:
dustpans (I can’t make this stuff up)
plant- and lawn-waterers
and lawnmowers (at $2100 per, a bit pricey compared to the kid down the street or your own reluctant teenagers).
It would be nice if there were one robot that would
satisfy all our needs do all that, but unfortunately, every chore needs its own robot. So we humans still have to multitask, even though our machines don’t.
But, speaking of multi-tasking, there is the RealDoll (Abyss Creations), apparently the
be-all and end-all epitome (for now) of sex dolls. They’re easy, but not cheap. And they’re marketed to men. (Do I need to say that? The sexbots-for-women industry is tiny minuscule nearly invisible not yet growing unimpressive.) Starting at about what you’d pay for a robotic lawnmower, but rising rapidly at increasing price points or more, you can have a “plastic pal who’s fun to be with.” (Apologies to Douglas Adams. Couldn’t resist.)
Make no mistake, for that price you’re getting more than your standard blow-up doll. Or sheep. Or whatever. More than “just silicone orifices,” according to one writer, the sexbots are jointed, with synthetic skin, and customizations tailored to the customer’s
preferences desires specifications as far as hair color, skin tone, eyes, clothing, booty jiggliness, and genitalia go.
(That customizable genitalia feature has me perplexed. According to the specs, that can mean “removable, exchangeable, flaccid, or hard.” I don’t quite get why someone would want a sexbot with flaccid genitalia. And if you know, don’t tell me. Removable kind of gives me the creeps too.)
For those of you not
in touch with an aficionado of deeply into conversant with the world of artificial intelligence (AI), any number of quandaries are brought into being by the creation of sexbots. You (well, not you) pay for them, so are they prostitutes? What happens when a company decides to make a robo-sex-sheep (and you know they will)? Will a sexbot that can fulfill antisocial desires make it more or less likely that users will act out criminal lusts IRL (as the saying goes)?
Sexbot visionaries have lots of plans for the future: camera eyes for facial recognition, multiple downloadable personalities, etc. The goal is to have either a sexbot that can pass the Turing Test (being indistinguishable from a human being in conversation, the gold standard of AI) or one that you can fall in love with.
Long before then, however, we’re going to need a sexbot-cleaning cleaning robot. ‘Cause otherwise, ew.