Nanny in NYC

A modern day Mary Poppins

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I will not be replaced by a robot!!

Philip K. Dick, a science-fiction writer who I was not formerly familiar with, wrote a short story (published in the collection The Book of Philip K Dick, 1973) about a robotic "nanny". The story describes the "nanny" as having
been built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom. Her surface had been sprayed with a dull green enamel, which had become chipped and gouged through wear. There was not much visible in addition to the eye stalks. The treads could not be seen. On each side of the hull was the outline of a door. From these the magnetic grapples came, when they were needed.
Now, (as much as I absolutely adore the idea of grapples!) this story is way too science-fiction-ey to be believed, right?

No, wrong! (Why else would I be writing this?) According to Technovelgy.com, a website devoted to the convergence of science and fiction, "Yujin Robotics of Korea, among other companies, will be introducing nanny robots this fall".


These "robo-nannies" seem to really just be the next step in the popular TV-as-nanny device employed in many, many American homes as I write this.
One such product, the iRobi, is described as an internet-based family robot. iRobi can take and edit photos, combine nursery rhymes with robot dances, provide fairy tale-based tutoring and even accept your custom programming.
Ultimately, it doesn't sound like they're coming anywhere close to Rosie, but still--I feel like it's almost pointless to voice my problems with this. Believe me, I'll be the first one to tell you that I heart Robots--but there is a huge difference between vacuuming under the bed & keeping Jr. from sticking his fingers in the socket.

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