Robot and Frank
If you watch any television (like I do, at doctors’ and dentists’ offices, where I’ve spent too much time lately on behalf of defective family members) you may have noticed (inbetween the Romney/Obama ads) a new kind of ad that positively portrays a room full of robots. The robots look cute, red, and busy, like Santa’s elves.
One of the big pioneers in this business (of robot workers) is–surprise–Foxconn, better known for making Apple products with Chinese human slave workers. As we all learned last year, even Foxconn’s iPad-producing human workers have a gripe now and then, about working conditions for which the management put up roof extensions to stop the fall of suicidal–well, that story is so yesterday. As the chair of Foxconn reportedly said, “Human beings are also animals, to manage one million animals gives me a headache.”
So, increasingly, the factories are going to robots. And the ads are trying to make us feel good about it.
Not to be outdone, even the movies are trying to make us feel good about it. Robot and Frank is a film about an aging man whose son gets him a robot companion. Driving with Daisy anyone? This isn’t even science fiction, since robot companions are already being marketed for seniors and children. Perhaps AI is the film we all need to revisit.