No Ifs, just Bots!


Sunipa Herbert imagines living in a world that works with the press of a button

Nadine, Manav, Surena, Zenbo, Pepper and Jibo. Do you recognise the names? If you are techno-challenged like me, let me give you a hint. What about Alexa, Siri or Hello Computer? Do I note a glint in your eye and a glimmer of recognition? Think Star Wars, as these are names of robots, androids and other artificial intelligence metallic smarty pants. The array of indoor, outdoor, social and humanoid robots (and myriad others that I would rather not talk about in this column) are mind-boggling.

I am told that technology makes way for leisure time. Nothing gratifies more than pleasures from leisure. Industrialisation should have had us cooling our heels but alas it has not been the case. Ironically, household chores are as attractive to me as waiting and watching my nail polish dry. Who needs a bottom and top coat of nail polish when my laundry pile covers every inch of liveable space? The need for speed leaves this lass exasperated and panting for leisure time.

Many people don’t care or dare to acknowledge that the most precious commodity is time. I am going against the grain by admitting that I am looking forward to the onslaught of robots. Call me ‘selfish’ if you must but I am looking forward to R3D3 taking on my chores as a kitchen hand. I am elated that Laxmi Dustbot can do my dusting and ecstatic that Ramudroid can do my gardening. With labour laws designed to ignore the working hours of the stay-at-home-moms, life as a career woman always looked more alluring. Does this blow the lid of your cringe-o-meter? Not anymore! RIP (rest in peace) will be anathema to the RobotWorld. With a glint in my eye I envisage the sweatshop of MumsWorld quickly dissipating and the female genre of mums, wives and grandmothers focusing their energies on more liveable pastime out of their hearth and home.

Does anyone think that this is an Orwellian project? The draconian control of every aspect of a woman’s life with the push of a button or swipe of a screen has certainly got to be a good thing. It makes me feel like a Roman emperor basking in the hedonistic pleasures of life. Time, dear Caesar, is of the essence here. Here is my challenge to all technocrats to take heed whilst making the next smart home assistant.

Task that takes priority for the female demographics to resolve the I-have-nothing-to-wearism! The need to catalogue wardrobes en masse with outfits, shoes, bags and other bits and pieces may be pushing the boundaries but would be gratifying and stimulating. The perennial puzzle of what to wear or what goes with what will quickly vanish like the genie in a lamp. Choosing an outfit from busting wardrobes will never be irrelevant again and will allow time at the local pub’s happy hour.

In order of priority, the next task would be to sort my husband’s wardrobe crisis. I will gladly relegate the stylist role to my wingmandroid who can match ties, shirts, shoes et al. There will be no down time or sleep for the wicked (robots). I will hold my breath while it buffers, whilst channelling my green side all tasks will be done during off-peak hours.

Next in line, sorting the freezer! In spite of dating and vacuum sealing food packs, I am always amazed how the lamb rack finds its way into the pizza box or gets wedged in between the packets of peas. The intelligent ‘i’ of my bot would see it all and will deftly repack the shelves methodically cataloguing by date, item, etc.

As the endearing cyber men infiltrate my home, my admiration for the hardworking Robosapien will generate love, nostalgia and celebration. I will journey into unchartered territories of well being, mindfulness and making the most of simple pleasures of life. Now I will always be ahead of the game. In my world of serendipity there will be no more running late for dentist appointments, no missing trains or mad dashes with heels in hand to parent-teacher appointments.

I live in hope that my plea will be heard. Long live the Bots!


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