Technology has undeniably made communication more accessible than ever before. With a few keystrokes, one can message people in Timbuktu from the safety of one’s room. Despite this facility to connect, people are lonelier than ever. Nearly eight percent of the American population, for example, is diagnosed with clinical depression. Thus, suicides, particularly among young men, are on the rise.
The latest bizarre innovation designed to alleviate this alienation may come as a surprise. Meet the somnox sleep robot. The bean-shaped white robot is roughly the size of a baby.
That’s no accident. The robot’s weight and feel are meant to mimic a newborn. It even comes with a “birth certificate” to drive the point home. The certificate reads: “Creating life is our design philosophy… It took us nine months to create your new sleep companion, just like a real baby.”
The purpose of the robot is to help owners achieve a full night’s sleep. To this end, the sleep robot features a simulated breathing apparatus – complete with an air bladder that expands and contracts. There are a host of soothing sounds meant to lull companions to sleep, all of which are adjustable via a Bluetooth-connected smartphone app.
According to people who have tested the product, it still has a lot of issues. Many complain that the breathing noises sound more mechanical than human. There are also app connectivity problems.
Of course, the simpler alternative to buying a fake baby robot with all its problems would be to have a real child. However, people are avoiding children. Birthrates are universally low in industrialized nations. In addition, there is a similar trend for people who decide to remain single. Nowhere is this trend more pronounced than in Japan. Some are saying that 50% of the Japanese population will be “lifelong singles” within 15 years.
Ironically, the modern, hyper-industrial world presents solutions to the problems it creates in the first place. After all, this robot baby is just one of the many instances of companies offering robotic or virtual options to fulfill basic human needs lost due to an atomized world. It also begs the question as to how far the transhumanist revolution is altering humanity.
For people with common sense, this new robotic companion should serve as a warning that there is a profound need to return to a more organic people-oriented, God-centered society. Unfortunately, the headwinds are blowing in the opposite direction.