LONDON – The British are forgoing having children and instead buying robotic children.
British couples across the United Kingdom are tired of having children – too much responsibility, too costly and too messy. Instead they are opting to have robotic children, just like in the 2001 futuristic fairy tale Artificial Intelligence starring Haley Joel Osment.
Ian Chadsworth and his wife, Fiona, were the first to purchase robotic children. Fiona, who is in her early 40s, said “I thought about having children, but decided that they’d just be too much work. When I learned that I could just buy a robot child. I was thrilled.” Fiona calls her “son”, Becks (named after her father soccer player.)
Becks is so advanced that he can tell jokes and keep his human parents up to date on news on the internet. “I don’t have to surf the internet anymore,” Ian said, “Becks just finds the information out for me.”
Becks moves around the house on wheels, using an internal map of the house, but he can also follow his mum and dad around. Becks not only makes his own bed and clean up for himself, but he also cleans, cooks and tends to every household need of his parents. “He’s the perfect child, he really is,” said Fiona.
Asked whether Becks would attend school, Ian told WWN that Becks was already be educationally programmed, specializing in all the sciences. He can perform advanced medical procedures if needed. This is comforting news to Ian because he eats a lot of meat and drinks several large pints of beer every day. “It’s good to know that if I collapse on the floor one day, Becks will be able to not only save me and call for help, but will also be able to perform open-heart surgery on me.”
Robotic children cost about 5,000 British pounds ($7,800). They are easy to maintain, never talk back and always behave. Some are concerned that the robots are too cold and “inhuman” but the robotic children are programmed to love their parents and show their love every day. “We programmed Becks to tell me he loves me every hour. It’s so wonderful to know that your child appreciates you,” Fiona said.
Prince Charles said that the Royal Family is looking into purchasing a robotic child and said, “I foresee the day when a robot will be King of England.” The Empire… strikes back.
Robotic children are available across the U.K. at Marlin Electronics, who have exclusive rights to sell these children.
Though robotic children are more suited to the British culture (stiff upper lip and all), WWN has confirmed that robotic children will be available in the U.S. Wal-Mart is in negotiations with Maplin. They should be on shelves for the Christmas season 2010.