Jibo, the “world’s first family robot,” hit the media hype machine like a bomb. From a Katie Couric profile to coverage in just about every outlet, folks couldn’t get enough of this little robot with a big personality poised to bring us a step closer to the world depicted in “The Jetsons” where average families have maids like Rosie. In the blink of an eye, pre-orders climbed passed $1.8 million and blew away the initial fundraising goal of $100k.
But, should we let robot servants into our lives?
Evan Selinger is a Fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technology who focuses on the collisions between technology, ethics, and law. At Rochester Institute of Technology, Selinger is Associate Professor of Philosophy and is affiliated with the Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction & Creativity (MAGIC).
Jibo is almost too adorable to resist. Sleekly designed with a curvy, clean-looking white enclosure and a dark round face, this teensy-weensy gadget looks downright adorable when doing what it does best: taking family pictures, reading stories to our kids, ordering our pizza, and just hanging out, being polite and sociable. While some might find Jibo over-priced or functionally limited, there seems little else to object to. Right? Not so fast.
IRONICALLY, ROBOT SERVANTS COULD END UP DIMINISHING OUR QUALITY OF LIFE AND CHARACTER BY DOING OUR BIDDING.
Jibo poses a fundamentally existential problem: Is a life lived with a robot servant the kind of life we should want to live?
You can see a video about Jibo below: