Ratty: I think I’d like to get hugged by a machine. That’s all. Just a hug. People who are hyper sensitive and/or children with severe autism are sometimes put in these things called hug machines.
They’re designed for people who, for social reasons, find it difficult to turn to an actual person for physical comfort so they turn to these machines. I don’t have autism and I’m not “hyper” sensitive but I am definitely “sort of” sensitive and I don’t think any of us have enough hugs in our lives. While I’m at it I’d also like a robot therapy seal. They use now in old folks homes to make people feel less depressed. I’m thinking mostly of this Japanese one that blinks and sings to you.
I’d like to pet that at the same time I’m being hugged.
I believe the rise of the robot that we keep hearing about is probably going to take a little longer than people think. Like I might be very old by the time there’s a rollerskating robot to carry me around everywhere like a giant baby. Or, alternatively, a giant baby robot to carry me around if I get tired from rollerskating. The fact is that we’re not as far along as I’d like us to be so I would like to experience a genuine machine hug and robo seal cuddle before I check out. Can we truly replicate the human embrace? And why can’t that giant baby also wear roller skates? Why was that a sort of either/or in my mind? Also, why can’t I stop thinking about a robotic Seal the singer serenading old folks?
I changed my mind. I want a robotic Seal to sing me “Crazy” before I check out. And a hug. THAT’s what I want.