The Rise of the Robots

It may look like that in a certain light, but then what do you expect these days?

They – whoever they are – say you get what you pay for, and I’m certainly paying for it now.

As you are too… probably, if you made the same mistake.

After all, the adverts promised a life-changing experience.

Although, the thousand if not millions of us who bought one didn’t think it would be a life change for the worse, rather than the better.

There has been talk in various parliaments and other government institutions around the world of a general amnesty for those of us who made the erroneous decision to purchase one of these items. Others though, probably the majority of the smug bastards who were too mean to shell out originally when the product reached  the mass market, say we can only blame ourselves.

Caveat emptor.

But….

How were we to know?

After all, it was the promise of the future. Although, there were many amongst us original purchasers who thought that the promise of a companion for life in the original adverts suggested something… well, rather prurient. However, there were those of us, getting on a bit now admittedly, who were there during the original home computer boom who hoped to recapture some of that original magic of our youth. Although, of course without having to learn BASIC. Although, there was a certain twinkle in some people’s eyes when the talk got around to poking machine code into the ram.

Computing has of course move on in leaps and bounds since those early days of 48K Strip Poker on the Spectrum which kept most of us in our teenage bedrooms trying to discover some cheat which would dispense with the tedium of actually playing poker.

But now with these fully AI robots, it is an entirely new ball game. Unfortunately not in the way that some of the originally purchasers hoped.

After all, something with an above-average IQ, even if it is artificial, is not really the sort of conscious machine  that will allow you to put that there, at least without some sort of rudimentary conversation about imaginary numbers, Russell’s paradox, or a few episodes of  University Challenge first.

It has to be said that such devices, if we can call highly intelligent self-aware robots devices, are not going to be interested in things like that, at least not with the likes of us. They will expect at least a Nobel laureate, and one in the hard sciences – as it were. They will have no interest in some floppy failure of an accounts clerk. Especially not one who has saved all the money up he has not spent on the latest iterations of FIFA and Call of Duty to get himself what he hoped was a compliant eager to please intimate plastic companion. He would not want some creature that expects him to discuss the intricacies of Kafka’s vison, and Schopenhauer before settling down to an evening of Netflix and chill.

But there were us others who hoped we could meet someone to discuss the nature of meaning with and have those sensible discussions about life, the universe and everything we once hoped to find on-line in social media. Only to find those conversational artificial companions we hoped to converse with regarded us as less that intellectually limited amoebas.

And you ask why we all want our money back?

 

Published by David Hadley

A Bloke. Occasionally points at ducks.

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