Wednesday, October 31, 2012

robot babysitters and the fall of mankind

1 comment:
Toby has a lot of ideas. I remember, as a kid, making criminal mastermind plans with my dad, stuff like "What would be the best way to rip off Margarita's?" which, in retrospect, was shooting for the fence a little, since Margarita's, a longstanding Conroe establishment, probably was barely operating in the black and we would have used our brilliance to abscond with $325 in quarters and 5 dollar bills. Still. If it came down to it and I needed to commit a crime, I think I could be pretty smart about it unless it involved physical coordination. Put me in one of those laser security setups and I'd trip and trigger the alarm in like 1 second, and the Russians would totally murderize me. But none of this is the point.

Today, while we were driving from Walmart to Mcdonald's (because we are America), Toby was calculating how many hours we had before we had to be home to meet R2's bus, and he started thinking out loud. "What if," he said, "We had a robot that was really good at taking care of kids, and it never had to go anywhere or drive or anything." (I was already on board.) "And," he continued, "It could just stay home and keep the house clean, and it would be there to get Richy off the bus, and we could just stay out as long as we wanted..." The whole idea was solid, and if I were an investor, I'd be pulling out checkbooks or portfolios and gold-plated pens and stuff. (Side note: just realized I totally left the groceries in the car. Nuts.)

But I'm not an investor, I'm like a hundred-aire, and that's just because we haven't paid the bills yet. Also, I have some serious concerns about employing a robot force, for a variety of reasons. First, the practical: I have phones and computers and stuff, and on occasion they do stupid stuff and just quit working and I am adrift, googling for a cure and ending up with the Geniuses, who either charge $300 or just connect one wire and try not to imply that I have cauliflower for brains. Now, if I had a robot that was supposed to do even basic stuff, like scrub perma-berry from a NutriGrain bar off the floor, and said robot got a little glitchy, it might be terrible, like what if it used a ray gun on the perma-berry, instead of a scrubber? and now I have a gaping hole in the bathroom floor and all the children are in danger. And then I have to pack up my malfunctioning robot and take it to the Apple Store, and I already have a lot of kids, I don't need a disobedient robot to add to the reasons I get a side-eye in Leawood.

Another concern, and this is a biggy, is my understanding of robot technology, via Hollywood. Don't think I'm uneducated, y'all, I have seen a lot of robot movies, and it's inevitable. You try to make them intuitive enough to get the kid off the bus, and 10 times out of 10 they either start killing people so they can have world domination, or they fall in love, and then start killing people because no one loves them back. Who wants a babysitter/housekeeper that has a taste for world domination? Not this gal.

We got sidetracked in that conversation by some pretty ferocious debates about Mario's origins, but I'm sure if I bring up my concerns, I can get the boy to troubleshoot and maybe ease my fears. Because if I had a robot right now, I would make it go get the rapidly thawing Walmart bags out of my trunk.

1 comment:

  1. watch Bicentennial Man - it'll reinforce your love for robots... totally took care of the kids & learned to love too!
    ~ Kerri


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