The Washington Post

Baby-sitting robots!

They say that if you don’t talk to your kids when they are little, they will have impoverished communications skills. I can give you an example!

Nobody ever talked to us about robots, and now we don’t have any idea what to say about them. The robots get smarter by the second, and our discussion about them is somewhere around the third-grade level. Here comes Gort, carrying our baby and heating up the formula bottle with his eyeball death ray, and we just don’t know what to say. Robot Babysitters Pose Dilemma!

No, actually they don’t. We won’t have a National Conversation about turning over our wee ones to machine care (Coming news story: Robot Changes Baby’s Diaper in Record 1.7 Seconds) because we never have a national conversation about anything. We just read our targeted ads and follow orders.

Some of the ostensible issues? This story says it will be different than the last 50 years of turning over our baby-sitting to the Television Set, because we monitored that so closely. Right! Also cited, those old monkey studies that showed “when nursed by inanimate objects, they grew up to be withdrawn and socially dysfunctional.”

Withdrawn and socially dysfunctional? Ever monitor your own computer use? And a guy at the NY Times wrote a piece saying that if we have robot child care, people may have more kids as a result. Wild speculation there, and wrong. That kind of ‘family life’ is just too peculiar and pointless. More robots and FEWER kids are the way of the future. There, I’m talking to you about robots. Now it’s time that you started talking about them too.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog. See all of his cartoons here.


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