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AIBO-ERS7As usual, for cultural (rather than technological) reasons, Japan is on the forefront of these kinds of things:

Mrs Tanaka is 84. Today, as usual, she wakes just before 7am, slips on her dressing gown and flips a switch to start water boiling for her first green tea of the day. She's about to get dressed when she pauses. She turns to the low table near the door, where a soft toy sits incongruously, and greets it in her distinctive west-Japan accent.

"Good morning Teddy. How are you today?" "Pretty good, thanks Tanaka-san," comes the reply. "Have you remembered to take your pills? It's the pink ones this morning," the robot bear continues.

A scene from AI 2 or a vision of a slightly over-cooked future nanny state? Actually, it's here and now in Japan.

And, yes, I'm one of those that would get an AIBO if I could...

Btw, I just realized that William Gibson, for all his understanding of Japanese culture and his uncanny ability to "see beyond", has never made much of a deal of personal robots in his novels or stories--even if one might argue that the trend is just too new, it precedes both All Tomorrow's Parties and Pattern Recognition, so a tiny mention would've been expected. Or maybe by now they are too mainstream to qualify for the wonderful techno-kitchness of some of his characters. I wonder.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on September 12 2003 at 8:12 PM

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