Back when I was a child in the 1970s, the future seemed a very exciting place. In a school topic about what would life be like in the Year 2000, I remember drawing and describing the robot of the future that would do everything for us in that far off, futuristic time.
It's strange how the Year 2000 seemed so space age, yet now, it's almost in the nostalgia category, some 16 years in the rear view mirrors. And all those predictions we made about living on Mars, robots giving us a life of luxury and getting all of our food needs from a small pill have proved rather wide of the mark. And I'm not surprised about the last one. Can you imagine no longer wolfing down crisps, chocolate and kebabs any more but just having some boring little pill instead? Bloody hell, there's few enough pleasures in life as it is when we're working all the time, bringing up kids, and generally coping with the stress of modern life. Popping off to the vending machine at work used to be one of the few pleasures I had to get me through the day. When my boss had just given me a load of bullshit about hitting sales targets and the need to work late, somehow it all seemed better with a Toffee Crisp.
Anyway, robots. They didn't develop as fast as we were led to believe. I read all the Asimov stuff as a teenager and then a real life robot turned up as companion on Doctor Who - I don't mean K9, but Kamelion, a fully functional robot, so we were led to believe. In fact, according to the production team it was a nightmare that never worked properly and had to be mercifully killed off after two stories.
Since then we've heard all manner of things about robots doing this, that and the other in the home, but progress has remained painfully slow. Which is very disappointing. I really didn't think I'd still be having to scrub the floor and clean the bog in 2016. Until now, it seems, when we really do seem to be getting somewhere.
I have imagined the robot world of the future a great deal. I wrote about it extensively in my novel "Man Out Of Time" in which I imagined a future where robots married humans, gained rights and even became the subject of problem page letters in The Sun: "My robot's cheating on me!"
Because, let's face it, whatever you may read about robots being used for housework etc, we all know what robots are really going to be used for. People are going to have sex with them. And if you think that's crude, well consider this. When the internet came along, we were all told it was the information superhighway and it would revolutionise the world (which it did). But what was the single biggest thing people used it for? (then and now) Porn. And as for having sex with robots not being natural, that hasn't stopped people interacting with all manner of rubber and plastic objects for pleasure since they were invented (and probably a lot longer with the natural equivalents before that).
And why not? Think of all those single, lonely people out there who can't find a partner for whatever reason. Why not get a robot, who won't pass them over because of their physical imperfections or because they are a single parent and they don't want the baggage? A robot who loves all the same things as you do, who never says no and always does the washing up.
That's assuming they don't rebel of course. Robot rights? It could be the 21st century equivalent of the feminist movement. Stranger things have happened.
|Sophia, one of the most sophisticated robots yet developed.|
None of this will affect me personally, as I don't plan to have sex with a robot. No, instead, I am actually going to become one. The technology is only a few decades away when we'll be able to upload our brains into the cloud before our physical bodies die. Then we can download them again into a new body - either a robot one, or perhaps a clone of our original one with implants and enhancements. A bit like the Cybermen in Doctor Who but in a good way i.e. without all the going round saying "delete" and killing people.
I personally would go for a robot/ flesh hybrid of myself, probably aged about 40 when I was at my most handsome, with a few inches removed from the waistline and a few other imperfections (such as my appallingly bad eyesight) ironed out. A few new teeth would be handy too, assuming I could still eat, which hopefully I would - I am sure it's possible to design some sort of digestive system. Doubtless some males would enhance themselves "down below" too, but to be honest I am quite happy with what nature blessed me in that department. There's no point in making myself unnecessarily cramped in my underwear, it's bad enough getting comfortable on my sofa as it is. Though if I was to make any adjustments in that area, I guess a faster recovery window might come in useful at some point.
All I need to do now is keep myself alive long enough for the technology to become available and hope to become rich enough to afford it!
Here's a video of Sophia (thanks Nat, for sending me this): https://www.facebook.com/cnbcinternational/videos/749203651847444/