I must be missing something - did the world get together when I wasn’t paying attention and ask for robot dogs?
Or did someone in Japan wake up one day and think, you know, dogs are cool, but what if instead of literally thriving off of enthusiasm and tail waggles, dogs had batteries and a grey, plastic shell?
I’m not kidding - Sony made Aibo, the robot dog. He has two cameras and four microphones. His tail jerks around, and his brain is hooked up to every other Aibo!
This isn’t the first time, either. Sony tried this bullshit back in 1999. And while Americans were all freaking out that Y2K would whip out our MP3 libraries and our chances to collectively date the Spice Girls, Sony sold 3,000 robot dogs in 20 minutes.
Now, after taking a decade off from building them, Aibo is back. Just when we’re starting to worry about robots taking our jobs and feeding us perfect crinkle-cut French fries, Japan is cranking out good boys.
Was there something wrong with dogs before? Did they not love us enough? Did we not breed them into being adorable life-long companions to the point that some even die horrible, disfiguring deaths just because we wanted more adorable faces?
I’ve thought about this long and hard, and I think I have the only explanation.
Isaac Asimov had Three Laws of Robotics:
Robots can’t hurt people, or by inaction, allow people to be hurt.
Robots must obey humans unless the orders conflict with Law #1
Robots must protect themselves unless it conflicts with #1 or #2
Okay, some dogs bite. Most don’t.
Some dogs don’t listen. We can train them better.
But if we’re just doing this because we don’t want to pick up some poop, we deserve to be chow for the robot dog apocalypse.