Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Japanese Build Robot Toddlers

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the soft-spot-is-not-the-reset-hole dept.

Japan 81

kgeiger writes "The Japanese birth dearth may be crashing their population and rendering kids a rarity, but never fear! Robotics researchers at Osaka University are building robot babies to learn how people are supposed to interact with young children. For anyone who has raised real kids, cyberkiddies would seem a cheat unless they come with "why? Why? WHY?" and "No!" infinite loops and no OFF switch."

cancel ×

81 comments

Hã? (1)

Nuno Sa (1095047) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182506)

Tamagochi v2.0? :-)

Re:Hã? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35182686)

Yeah, and being japanese, you can have sex with these robot-kids too! Don't worry though, they will be illegal in all civilized countries.

Re:Hã? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35182772)

If you're using all the usual clichés then these robot kids will still grow up to be better human beings and less screwed up than american kids.

Re:Hã? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35187350)

Or at least less fat.

Re:Hã? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35182798)

I think that would be a bad thing though. Why should having sex with robots that have the appearance of children be against the law?

Re:Hã? (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182878)

Maybe it shouldn't, but you know it will be. It sure would get a lot of votes for the legislators who passed it and the DA who enforced it.

Re:Hã? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35197528)

So there's no connection between feeding paedophiles' fantasies and their subsequently acting out these fantasies in real life?

Do you think paedophiles in prison should be given free access to child porn so as not to infringe their human rights?

Re:Hã? (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35205430)

So there's no connection between feeding paedophiles' fantasies and their subsequently acting out these fantasies in real life?

No.

paedophile

I now have no interest in speaking with you. I've learned everything I have ever needed to know about you people from dailymail.co.uk comment section. I could know your opinions before you do. Go enjoy your paranoid country and leave the rational people to discuss things.

Re:Hã? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35185102)

For the same reason drawn comics (which are clearly comics because NO human being could have a remotely similar anatomy) of kids having sex are illegal in many countries.

Do not question the logic of laws concerning sex, drugs or copyright. They do not have to make sense.

Re:Hã? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35185416)

For the people who want American free speech laws there's still America, where anything short of real child pornography is legal.

Re:Hã? (0)

ultranova (717540) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186222)

For the people who want American free speech laws there's still America, where anything short of real child pornography is legal.

Unless it's "obscene" (in the judge's arbitrary opinion), copyrighted, trademarked or patented. Or unless someone claims it is by filing a false DMCA notification and you don't have $10,000+ in spare cash to contest it. Or unless someone with more money than you says it is. Or unless your rulers decide it is.

But besides that, yes, it's illegal^Hlegal.

Re:Hã? (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186672)

what really pisses me off is the obscenity thing. Obscenity is a test for whether a law can be made to control the speech not whether it should be de facto illegal yet judges have been using it as an excuse to punish people without a law in place.

It's like a judge saying "There's no law saying the state can't make red cars illegal so you're going to jail for having a red car."

Re:Hã? (1)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182804)

When robot-kids are illegal, only robot-kid fuckers will have robot-kids.
OK, maybe that argument doesn't work well with everything...

Re:Hã? (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#35184002)

"no OFF switch" - makes me think of Max Headroom [maxheadroom.com] .

Improvement, not duplication (4, Funny)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182544)

For anyone who has raised real kids, cyberkiddies would seem a cheat unless they come with "why? Why? WHY?" and "No!" infinite loops and no OFF switch.

Like cars are cheating if they don't eat hay and crap in the street.

Re:Improvement, not duplication (4, Funny)

ddd0004 (1984672) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182900)

That's funny. My car is essentially crap in the street.

Re:Improvement, not duplication (1)

nzap (1985014) | more than 3 years ago | (#35183414)

That's funny. My car is essentially crap in the street.

And considering that you can make ethanol from hay [wired.com] , then I'll be looking for your car at the next Kentucky Derby.

didn't kubrick and spielberg make this already? (2)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182560)

and wasn't it a really really horrible mess?

Re:didn't kubrick and spielberg make this already? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35185108)

Dunno. When I was watching the movie, they accidentally put in the last roll in reverse. Oddly, it made more sense that way...

Break themselves? (2)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182596)

Since it's well-known that toddlers can break any electronic device, even if they have no buffer-overflow vulnerabilities, what will happen when the toddlers themselves are electronic? Will they spontaneously break, or be a super-race that cannot be defeated?

Is it an accurate simulation? (3, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182598)

It's only an accurate simulation if 3/4ths of the robot kids are delivered 9 months after a surprise announcement that the recipient was getting one.

Re:Is it an accurate simulation? (1)

Velex (120469) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186210)

I'm sure I'm going to get modded offtopic, but it's amazing to me that in the 21st century there are females out there in 1st world countries who refuse to get any control over their reproductive systems.

Then again, how do you explain to someone that believes that contraception is killing unborn babies that as part of a female's normal cycle, an unfertilized egg is discarded each month? There again, my folks accused me of the murder of their unborn grandkids (their! as though it was something that would have happened without my involvement!) and told me I was addicted to drugs when my doc gave me estrogen. I guess I shouldn't try to analyze it logically. These are people who believe that removing a necessary part of the male reproductive system at birth, causing discomfort and pain later in life, is necessary for the economy to continue to function. Only conclusion I can draw is anyone who's not currently having unending heterosexual sex is murdering unborn kids!

Oh wait. This is /. You all might take my conclusion seriously! eep

Re:Is it an accurate simulation? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35186994)

Well, granted, the pill isn't 100% effective. And not everyone enjoys putting artificial hormones into their bodies. In some people it has some pretty adverse affects. Granted, there's lot of other options. I think that things like condoms are a much better option. Not only does it protect against pregnancy, but it also protects against disease. And it doesn't require anybody to modify the chemistry of their body.

Re:Is it an accurate simulation? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35197546)

I think that things like condoms are a much better option

Condoms are even further from being 100% effective than the pill.

Re:Is it an accurate simulation? (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35188144)

I agree with you. That piece of flesh is something I miss every day.

Re:Is it an accurate simulation? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35190190)

I agree with you. That piece of flesh is something I miss every day.

I guess it depends upon your definition of "necessary."

Re:Is it an accurate simulation? (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 3 years ago | (#35192694)

I agree with you. That piece of flesh is something I miss every day.

I guess it depends upon your definition of "necessary."

No it doesn't; I miss it regardless of how much I will or won't use it. It was tragically taken from me without my consent. "Necessary" doesn't enter into it; it was mine.

Re:Is it an accurate simulation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35211256)

Refuse? An effective modern low-dose (and therefore low-impact) pill is goddamned expensive (or requires risking your physical safety from those same kooks you mention by going to a clinic to get the freebies). Without insurance it's practically impossible, especially if you have any sort of reaction to the older generics or any of their binders. The pill I'm currently on has a sticker price of over $90/mo. Smartphone plans are cheaper than that.

I'd LOVE to have complete control over my reproductive system. I'd love to yank it out and stomp on it in the street . Until I become a millionaire, it just can't happen.

If this means Rozen Maiden in real life (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35182624)

i'm game. time to order a real shinku

Re:If this means Rozen Maiden in real life (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35182732)

"Does master want Suiseiseki to give him a footrub-desu?" she purred.
"No thank you," I said. "I'm rather tired. You should retire to your box."
"But master-sama, Suiseiseki doesn't like her box-desu! I want to sleep in master-sama's bed-desu!"
"Not tonight. You'll do as you're told."
"Why doesn't master-sama have real girls in his bed?"
"What?!"
"Is master-sama's penis too small for real girls?"
"Why aren't you saying desu?"
"Does he have to use dolls instead?"
"SAY DESU! SUISEISEKI FINISHES HER SENTENCES WITH DESU!"
"Master-sama showed Suiseiseki his penis once."
"DESU! MASTER-SAMA SHOWED SUISEISEKI HIS PENIS ONCE DESU!"
"It was too small even for dolls."
"SHUT UP! SHUT UP! YOU'RE NOT SUISEISEKI!"

With my right hand I snatched a pair of scissors from my desk and mashed them continually into her face. Her little body was smashed into kindling but I did not stop. Until her screams began to sound a bit like my voice, and I remembered that dolls did not scream, and they did not bleed. Suddenly there was feeling in my left hand for the first time in weeks. I lifted it out of the doll's wreckage, covered in splinters and dripping from scissored wounds. How long had my hand been inside there? How long had I been inside here, alone in my one-room apartment, talking to myself, going mad?

The bolt scraped rust from the latch as I stepped outside. My eyes hurt, god the horizon ... it was a deal larger than 19 inches diagonally. But after five steps my breath quickened and my chest tightened and I turned back. Enough for today. Tomorrow I would try for six. A distant memory told me that when I reached two hundred and eighty, I would make it to the bus stop. And then I'd be free of this apartment, of this prison. And then there'd be nowhere in the world I couldn't go.

Least of all the refunds counter at Moemart in Akihabara. For fuck's sake. Suiseiseki finishes her sentences with desu.

Re:If this means Rozen Maiden in real life (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35182912)

I am both disturbed and in awe of your skill.

- Not GP

Re:If this means Rozen Maiden in real life (1)

suiminbusoku (1888128) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182966)

This is closer to Chobits in real life.

It won't work... (5, Insightful)

jason18 (1973154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182630)

How can you study this kind of thing using robots? No matter what you do, you can't simulate small children well enough to make people act the same around the robot as a real kid. It's a nice concept, but it'll never get anything done except entertain. Plus I bet we'll never hear about this again in the US.

Re:It won't work... (3, Interesting)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182884)

How can you study this kind of thing using robots? No matter what you do, you can't simulate small children well enough to make people act the same around the robot as a real kid. It's a nice concept, but it'll never get anything done except entertain. Plus I bet we'll never hear about this again in the US.

I remember reading how when people encounter a robot for the first time, they avoid eye contact out of respect until they realize it's a robot they're talking to. All you have to fool is the casual observer to get human reactions. But then, even a casual observer may notice a disembodied head being atypical....

Re:It won't work... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35182910)

Well sure it does. I'm working in Japan now, and this place is pretty terrible towards its workers.

Young people don't want to have kids because they are paid rotten salaries, overworked, and their job security isn't that great.... (women are still expected to "retire" when they get married or have a kid!) lol

If the government forced employers to adhere to proper employment laws, allowed and encouraged unions, and made work family friendly -- they wouldn't need robot kids!

Re:It won't work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35183332)

I'm married to a Japanese woman and living in Japan. We don't want children because we don't want them. We have no desire to have them.

Re:It won't work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35185408)

That's fine for you and your wife. But it obviously doesn't describe the average person in any locality - if it did, our species would probably be extinct.

Re:It won't work... (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35188724)

I'm married to a Japanese woman and living in Japan. We don't want children because we don't want them. We have no desire to have them.

That's fine for you and your wife. But it obviously doesn't describe the average person in any locality - if it did, our species would probably be extinct.

In case it had escaped your attention, he wasn't talking about the "average person in any locality" though- he was talking about Japan. And it's also pretty well-known that Japan *does* have a serious problem with an ageing population and not enough children- which over the not-so-long term certainly *will* lead to their extinction if they don't do something about it.

Re:It won't work... (0)

okazakiOm (1249958) | more than 3 years ago | (#35185764)

I'm married to a Japanese woman and living in Japan. We have two children because we wanted them. We had a desire to have them. No, really.

Re:It won't work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35183988)

Interesting how as time progresses, Japan and the U.S. grow increasingly similar. Of course, the U.S. still has some catching up to do before it can become as dysfunctional towards its human population as Japan has become towards theirs, but not to worry, we ARE working diligently towards that goal. Kind of gives me hope that our endemic crime rate will eventually taper off a bit, here in the States. All we need to do is replace the human population with robots, I guess, and now, Japan is making that easier to do... how rather helpful of them, actually. Thanks!

Re:It won't work... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35190200)

allowed and encouraged unions

Allowed, encouraged, and regulated unions, you mean. Contrary to popular belief, unions are not a panacea.

Re:It won't work... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35197554)

allowed and encouraged unions

Allowed, encouraged, and regulated unions, you mean. Contrary to popular belief, unions are not a panacea.

Any union's better than no unions, except for the handful of rich property owners at the top of the chain, you dumb fuck.

Re:It won't work... (2)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35183174)

Um, these guys [realityworks.com] would probably disagree with you. They've been around for over a decade and are doing quite well I believe.

This complicates things... (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182638)

Now I don't know whether I should be stocking up on EMP weapons or coathangers in order to battle the robot uprising. Thanks a lot, Japan.

Re:This complicates things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35182664)

Do coathangers, but use wire ones, and wrap the other end into a coil. Bring Jumper cables.

Re:This complicates things... (1)

psithurism (1642461) | more than 3 years ago | (#35183274)

Now I don't know whether I should be stocking up on EMP weapons or coathangers in order to battle the robot uprising. Thanks a lot, Japan.

It'll be easy now, just don't put plug protectors over your electrical sockets and the uprisers will take care of themselves.

Re:This complicates things... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35185410)

Or put plug protectors on ALL sockets and watch the robots run out of battery.

Re:This complicates things... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35185780)

in order to battle the robot uprising.

You just need some candy and a windowless van.

Re:This complicates things... (1)

BA16 (950144) | more than 3 years ago | (#35190594)

I'd suggest flame-throwers and grenades, but Tickle Me Elmo faired that hurdle rather well and he was only a Level 3 infant type.

Pedobear approves (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35182648)

Pedobear approves. Seriously - is there any doubt that with tech like this, the country that gave us "BABY FUCK" wouldn't be fucking them?

Re:Pedobear approves (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35183292)

Rape, it's like how they say hello in Japan.

Third Variety (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35182658)

"The little boy. David. David holding his teddy bear. That's Variety Three. The most effective."

Don't forget these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35182716)

"Mine!!"

"I do it"

Done in film already (1)

braindrainbahrain (874202) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182786)

That's funny. People being trained for parenthood was the exact plot of one of the segments of the film Robot Stories [imdb.com] .

(and iirc, the parent trainees were Japanese)

Not to mention (1)

CorvisRex (1266594) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182814)

It is a cheat as well unless one has to see the truly inhuman, strait from the 7th level of hell evil that is the result of what a baby's intestines does to the humble mango.... I still have nightmares...

Re:Not to mention (1)

tivoKlr (659818) | more than 3 years ago | (#35183022)

That's right. If the little motherfucker doesn't shit, urinate, and projectile vomit, IT IS NOT REAL.
If it's all unicorns and candy and fun, made from carbon fiber, plastic and has a battery, it's not real.

Re:Not to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35187690)

Projectile is not a verb.

Re:Not to mention (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35197572)

Projectile is not a verb.

is "vomit projectilely" or "vomit ina projecile manner" better?

Hey now.. (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182890)

For anyone who has raised real kids, cyberkiddies would seem a cheat...

We prefer to call it 'asexual reproduction'. For most of us here, it's the only option we have!

Point of order.. (1)

Evil_Ether (1200695) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182974)

Kids have off switches too they just come with a whole load of legal complications.

Hell With Teaching People to Deal With Kids! (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 3 years ago | (#35182984)

Lets fit them with a homicidal hunter/killer AI and unleash hordes (HORDES!) of them on our enemies in one of our wars! Then we'd be talking!

Re:Hell With Teaching People to Deal With Kids! (1)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 3 years ago | (#35183180)

Lets fit them with a homicidal hunter/killer AI and unleash hordes (HORDES!) of them on our enemies in one of our wars! Then we'd be talking!

Cool! Philip K. Dick is alive and posting to Slashdot!

Speaking as a parent (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35183138)

Of course they have an "off" switch. You're just not allowed to use it.

I misread this at first... (1)

cthellis (733202) | more than 3 years ago | (#35183388)

I thought it was "Japanese robots build toddlers" ...which would have been much more interesting.

To add to the realism (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35183532)

You pay an initial fee for the robot (birth), then roughly one third to one half of your take-home pay goes to the manufacturer to pay for the maturity updates (rearing) and service packs (education).

Hopefully you can at least beat the fuck out of this version without CPS getting involved.

Re:To add to the realism (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35197782)

You pay an initial fee for the robot (birth), then roughly one third to one half of your take-home pay goes to the manufacturer to pay for the maturity updates (rearing) and service packs (education).

Hopefully you can at least beat the fuck out of this version without CPS getting involved.

Or, alternatively, you could choose not to have kids and then fucking whine about it afterwards.

Not to be a Grammar Nazi but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35183648)

Japanese birth dearth?

Japan cool (1)

KennyRogers (1994946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35184212)

Japans are great in. They build everything, they are so clever

Re:Japan cool (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35185118)

And they always build it smaller and smaller, it's fantastic!

No one saw this coming (1)

Kelzar (1642061) | more than 3 years ago | (#35184412)

Well, with their birth-rate this was kind of inevitable. Kind of awesome too. Future labor shortage averted!

Re:No one saw this coming (2)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 3 years ago | (#35184708)

Even though it would be a huge personal sacrifice, I am willing to impregnate as many Japanese women as needed to reverse their birth dearth.

Dearth... who says that anymore? Funny word... dearth, dearth, dearth.

HEX

Interact with the car ? (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 3 years ago | (#35184758)

Do they detect the proximity of the car navigation system and enter an infinite loop saying: ''Are we there yet ?''

My toddlers will take over the world! (1)

Kit Kat100 (1945162) | more than 3 years ago | (#35184812)

I call dibs on making an army of toddler-robots. They will take over the world with childish cuteness and lasers.

I suddenly have that craving (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#35185124)

Why do I suddenly want to buy a copy of Dead Space 2?

How's this new? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35185398)

Sure, it may be higher tech but we've had dolls that simulate the trials and tribulations of having a baby for decades. They're handed out to teenagers to teach them that they aren't mature enough to handle having children yet.

Just get a cat instead (1)

Edgester (105351) | more than 3 years ago | (#35185704)

Get a cat instead, they probably work better.

Re:Just get a cat instead (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35197814)

Get a cat instead, they probably work better.

Plus cats bring you presents. Admittedly they tend to be dead mice or crippled birds, but i's the thought that counts...

Life imitates SF (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#35189054)

I recall a science fiction story where the Chinese invented a realistic robot toddler. The US government, in its infinite wisdom, made a law that anyone who wanted to have a real kid had to care for one of these robot kids for a period of time. To make a long story short, after a generation the Chinese Army rolled in and took over the depopulated United States.

Re:Life imitates SF (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 3 years ago | (#35190212)

To make a long story short, after a generation the Chinese Army rolled in and took over the depopulated United States.

That may very well happen, but it won't take another generation. It wish it would, though ... then I could retire and die and not worry about it.

Re:Life imitates SF (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#35197798)

[citation needed] please
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...