The U.S. may be ahead of the rest of the world, generally, when it comes to innovation and invention, but Japan always seems to be a little bit ahead of America when it comes to the speed of acceptance and application of newfangled technology.
So it should come as no surprise that the Wall Street Journal has reported that some Japanese TV network will soon employ a robot as a news anchor. People are making a big deal out of it, viewing it as another sign of robots encroaching on previously human jobs — even though this development has been predicted for years.
The robot, named Erica, has been created to resemble a long-haired woman and looks like a Japanese anime character converted to corporeal form. She/it — I guess we’re going to have to get instruction on the politically correct way to refer to a gender-specific robot, eh? — will be equipped with a form of artificial intelligence that will allow her/it to read the news, although the new stories she/it reads will have to be selected by humans. Erica apparently will be the first “android anchor” in the world.
Hey, wait a second! I just realized . . . does this mean that the people who currently read the news on American TV stations aren’t robots? Who would have guessed?