A creative take on the automated future.
By Jayasankar (B.E. Robotics and Automation, 2016-2020) and Bharat Kumar Jain (B.E. Robotics and Automation, 2016-2020)
“Good morning Becky! It’s time for you to wake up. On current affairs, Kim Jong Un is drafting plans to conquer Mars.”
“Why am I not surprised? Well, we shall see, won’t we Max?”
“Yes, we shall, Becky. By the way, I noticed that you have run out of groceries, so I placed an order for the usual. Estimated time of delivery is 2pm today. Delivery will be dropped off in the drone hatchet.”
“Thank you, Max. What would I do without you?”
“Nothing, I hope. I would be out of a job otherwise. When would you like me to call an Uber for you?”
“In half an hour.”
This conversation might look fancy now, but what if this became a part of our daily routine? What if we spoke to literally ‘nothing’, while that ‘nothing’ responded to us and made our lives easier? What if the self-driving cars and robots from “I, Robot” became a reality? Yes, life in the future is all set to be very amusing. The future that we are talking about is not more than 30 years away. Technology has become an integral part of our life and will undoubtedly continue to be in the foreseeable future; provided ‘Skynet’ doesn’t destroy humanity.
Let us fast forward 50 years. We’ll be surrounded by curious little kids pestering us to describe our youth. We might even have interactive conversations with robots who might be eager to know how the world did anything without them.
“We were more independent and self-reliant as there were no selfless robots helping us 24×7 back in the day. We were also more social as we got to meet more people when we went to the market for supplies. Now, there are drones that deliver groceries right at your doorstep. Hence, we have no excuses to meet people. The art of small talk is lost. I remember when neighbours used to visit each other to borrow things like sugar, but there is no such need now. Life has become more convenient but less interesting.”
I press a button and the room transforms itself to provide more space as more kids swarm in, thanks to our apartment being equipped with cavity modules. A kid then asks, “How did houses look when you were young, uncle?”. (Uncle!? – The average lifetime of a human is around 120 years, thanks to life-extending nutritional food pills. So, I eventually got used to being called ‘uncle’). Answering the kid’s question, “Our houses were similar to the ones we live in now, but they were dumb and we did not have a robot to assist us with everything. We had to do everything manually. We had switches to operate the lights! In fact, I had never even dreamt of living in an apartment, on the 81st floor, with my fear of heights!”
Another kid on his jetpack waves, “Bye uncle!”. “I still recall using those in computer games”, I remark, waving back at him. “Computer?” exclaim the kids, as I work on finding an image. With a few gestures here and there, I show them a picture of a conventional PC on my holographic display.
Looking down at the maglev equipped roads with speeding cars, “Do you believe that cars in our time ran on gasoline?”. A kid screams, “Gasoline causes explosions!” As we laugh, my robot pitches in, trying to convince the kid, “Gasoline was a very important and widely used fuel at that time. It doesn’t always explode into a fiery ball”. I continue, “We did not have closed hyperloops that could take us anywhere in a matter of minutes. In fact, all our vehicles had a speed limited to about 100 kmph”. A kid, with his eyes wide open says, “My dad’s car runs at 500 kmph and he doesn’t even drive it!”. “Yes, the world right now doesn’t use manually driven cars, primarily due to safety concerns”, I reply.
Reminiscing about weekends, “We would go to theatres to watch movies and not just put on our virtual reality headsets”, I let out a sigh. My neighbour’s robot comes to me and says, “Shall I take the kids to their regular playground as it is time for them to play?” Everyone runs out excitedly, bidding me goodbye.
Filled with nostalgia, I stand up from my memory foam cushioned seat, take out my holographic device and place it on the table. The seat senses my intentions and moves into place. I call my father, wave to his hologram, and ask him, “Dad, how were things when you were young?”
JAYASANKAR.S (B.E ,ROBOTICS & AUTOMATION ,2016-2020), is an aspiring engineer who has a huge interest in aerospace. He loves reading books and believes that only books could be the best companion for a man.He also likes to play cricket and travel a lot.
BHARAT KUMAR JAIN (B.E. RAE, 2016-2020) is an avid book reader and enjoys reading biographies. He is also interested in badminton and is a numismatist, notaphilist and philatelist.
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