The World’s First Family Robot

Technology, Entrepreneurship, Society, Art

Jibo wants to be a member of your family. Jibo is a very sleek and, dare I say, cute little robot that is both humanly warm and helpful. It will keep you company. Order your dinner. Give you reminders. Take your pictures. And talk to you all day. The creator of Jibo wants us to think of technology as a partner in your everyday life not just a tool to accomplish a task. This will be a major shift in the relationship between man and machine. Aesthetically, Jibo reminds one of Eve, the female robotic love interest in the Pixar movie Wall-e. The game changer with Jibo is it’s predictive programming that not only remembers your preferences and choices but anticipates your wants and needs. Could this be the next step towards a mind-numbing life not unlike Captain B. McCrea and passengers of his spaceship, Axiom?

This is a significant step towards the humanization of robot-to-human interaction. The interactive experience has a very human-esque quality to it. This further blurs the line between humans and technology. Seeing robots as partners is a significant expression of that blurry line. It paves the way for robots to function as replacements for real human beings.

The convergence of articulated mechanical hands and feet, affectionate robots ( see scan hit on The World’s First Affectionate Robot), and predictive programming can become a major step towards creating human like androids.

Could these androids and our dependency on them eventually replace people who have traditionally functioned as PSWs, EMTs, nanny’s, and babysitters? Could predictive programming potentially diminish our capacity to think for ourselves?

“Things begin to get complicated when robots go beyond basic manual, bureaucratic, and cognitive labor and become tools for us to outsource intimate experiences and functions to. Part of Jibo’s appeal is that it will let you to stop thinking. That is a disconcerting change, one which over time, can profoundly impact who we are.”

-Evan Selinger, WIRED


Robot Servants Are Going to Make Your Life Easy. Then They’ll Ruin It

The World’s First Affectionate Robot


Technology, Entrepreneurship, Society, Art


On June 5, 2014 Softbank Chairman and CEO, Masayoshi Son, introduced the first affectionate robot to the world. Built in partnership with Aldebaran Robotics SAS, “Pepper’s” human like qualities are driven by an “emotional engine” and a cloud-based AI. It is Softbank’s intention to install affectionate robots in several of its retail location in Japan. Pepper will be available to the Japanese consumer by 2015.


Human like robots are not a new idea. People have been imagining them for much of the past century. What makes this finding significant is that for the first time, affectionate robots are being introduced to the consumer market. No longer limited to the realm of science fiction novels and movies. These are not robots that take the place of human manual labour. Rather, robots that could soon replace human warmth and human contact. They are lauded as being able to replace a “babysitter, nurse, and emergency medical worker.” And they have the ability to improve their emotional intuition and response. The more they experience, the more they will learn…and evolve. Machines with emotional intelligence.

What will an AI that has been given 25-30 years of life experience look like? Sound like? Act like? Feel like? Could this be the beginning of the beginning of sentient machines? And how ubiquitous will these affectionate robots be in 2045?


“It’s either a technological breakthrough or the most terrifying robot advancement I’ve ever heard of.” -Lance Ulanoff, Chief Correspondent and Editor-at-Large of Mashable.