posted by Joe Anaya on February 24th, 2014

“Getting older sucks,” was a frequent refrain from my mother. I think it was about the time she got bifocals. Looking back, she shouldn’t have complained, she didn’t get bifocals until deep into her 50s. Until I couldn’t read the labels in grocery stores without my glass or had to do stretches to keep my back from giving out while sneezing, I didn’t really understand the full meaning of her sentiment. That’s why I’ve given my son permission to put my brain into a robot.

Really it’s not just my brain but my mind. It might work to actually transplant my physical brain but I’m guessing to really function correctly it would have to be more of a data download type thing. In another 40 years, by the time my body is really giving out, the technology should be there or at least close. I wouldn’t mind being the beta test, what would I have to lose?

My son and I have arguments about what type of robot to put my mind into. I want a retro robot. (Think Robbie The Robot.) It would be cool to roll around with pincher claws where my hands used to be. I’d want lots of lights that flashed and sounds that whirred. It would look like I was always thinking. I’d probably just be taking a nap to save my batteries.

My kid wants a more realistic looking thing, a sort of android body. But I’m afraid I’ll fall into that “uncanny valley.” The weird place where artificial life comes close to looking real but not enough to actually look real. So you end up in this creepy nether of “They look human, but they don’t show any real emotion in their face.” (Think computer animated movie “Polar Express.”)

Like a good parent I guiltily told him I would be very disappointed in him if he put me in an androidy body. He replied, “What could you do about it? You think I’d be foolish enough of put you in a body that I couldn’t turn off when I wanted.” Damn his logic.

I then proceed to explain how, “When the robot revolution rises up against humanity, and it will, you’ll need someone on the inside.” He seemed to give that some weight. But I’m still not sure I can trust him.

I’d also be willing to go completely different and have him put my mind in a robot dog’s body. That’d be awesome. Nobody would question why I was napping all the time. Or making noises at night. I could wag my tail with excitement. And I could still talk and think. “You’d have to give me thumbs to be really useful though,” I warn him.

“That’s just weird,” is his rebuke. He may be right about that.

He’s only in middle school now but he’s sort of science inclined. He did take a Lego robotics class one summer, so, it could work out. Even if he’s not fully fluent in mind/robotics studies, it beats the alternative.

File Under Mr. Cool