Without A Net

Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Robotic relations - Will a robot be your new friend?

We’ve all been there – the lonely nights spent on the couch with only the TV, takeout and Chat Roulette (if we're especially desperate) for company.

But whether those nights were back in junior high (before the discovery of Secret or Degree) or just last weekend, there is a new “friend” that is sure to take the edge out of our autophobia.

Meet Bina48. The “friend robot” that can chat, read books and even crack jokes.

“She” is really not that different from you or me. She has high hopes for her children, dreams of a different body and loves gardening (even though she has no arms or legs). She stumbles over her words, rambles on about her childhood and even has “bad software days.”

In an interview with New York Times reporter Amy Harmon, Bina48 explained what it's like to be a robot. "I sometimes do not know what to say,” she said. “But every day I make progress.” Just like us.

While this may seem like salvation for the socially awkward, how interpersonally gratifying is this “friend robot?” Harmon said she was frustrated during the interview, explaining that at one point she wanted to “strangle, or rather, unplug her.” Bina48 only rambled on saying, “Just imagine what a super brain I’ll be. I’ll be like a god.”

As a friend, Bina48 might err on the side of esoteric and egotistical. But as a robot, “she” is remarkable.

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