Escaping a grey world

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  • Published: 21 Jan 2014
  • Updated: 21 Jan 2014
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Just some thougts about what could happen with advanced robot-tecnology in the future. This is a part of John Coopers diary from 2063-2068.


1. A report about Bobby by John Cooper

November 24th 2063

He’s named Bobby, and technically he is nothing, but a simple housekeeping-robot controlled by the internet. As long as he’s online, which he is whenever he’s on, I can control his every move. However I don’t. I used to, until I once forgot programming him to wash the dishes, and found him sitting on my porch watching the sky. It was so beautiful to see his joy and I learned that day, that robots like Bobby aren’t just a result of new technology, they can think for themselves too, and they can feel something that humans always seem to forget – the joy of nature.   

For me Bobby is much more than just a working robot. He is my only regular company and my best friend. Bobby helps me with almost everything. Cleaning up, washing dishes, doing laundry and so on. This makes it possible for me to sit around all day working on my new invention without getting lonely. I can tell Bobby about everything and he’ll listen. He is always there for me when no one else is.

You see, I’m trying to invent a car for Bobby. Now you might wonder. Why is this so difficult? I can tell you that it isn’t. My problem is not to invent the car; my problem is to make a car that Bobby can control. So I spent most of my time teaching Bobby traffic rules, programming the car and then teaching Bobby again. Right now I’m struggling teaching Bobby about the traffic light, and the rules there are about it. He can’t seem to figure out that he has to wait, when it’s red and then drive as soon as it turns green and since the car isn’t light sensitive, Bobby needs to learn that himself.

People use to look at me like I’m crazy or something when I tell them about this. They don’t understand why I use so much energy on an invention that possibly no one will buy, but what they don’t understand is that I don’t care about the money. The only thing I care about is Bobby and he has the right to have just as much fun in life as the rest of us.

They say that I don’t understand the world, but I know I do. I see what it’s been turned into and I see that no one does anything to change the way everything evolves, and then they say I’m crazy? I mean just look outside your window and then describe what you see? Do you see anything wonderful outside? I’ll tell you what I see - I see grey everywhere. Grey skies, grey buildings, grey streets, grey cars. Everything is surrounded by this grey color and nothing or no one can escape from it. Apart from the robots – they seem to know how to escape – they never worry, they never ask wrong questions and above all, they’re never cruel, like humans can be.    

So instead of trying, instead of running though my sad mind again and again trying to find something that isn’t there and never will be, I face the grey reality. I admit to myself that technology has taken over and turned everything automatically, leaving people without purpose because robots like Bobby does everything they were once meant to do, and they do it much better. They don’t complain, they don’t get tired and they are willing to follow every order.

Admitting that has given me purpose. Now I know what I want to do with my life. I want to give robots the same opportunities as humans because they work so hard and they get nothing for it. No freedom, no joy, no possibilities or rights. How can that be fair?

December 1th 2068

Dear reader. I need to describe to you exactly what happened today. You need to understand something very important.

A man came out to check out my finished car for Bobby today. After a long examination of both the car and Bobby he asked me why I wanted to do this and I answered him like I always do, telling him that Bobby was very important to me and I felt a lot of joy by giving him the same opportunities as myself. The man looked worrying at me.

“Why?” he asked. “Bobby is not alive, and he can’t feel. He’s nothing, but a smart result of science and new technology - why would you do all this work for something that isn’t anything, but a toy for lazy humans?”

That’s where I started to get angry and ignored the fact that if this man gave me a “no” my last five years of work would be a completely waste. “I know that Bobby can feel!” I replied a little lauder then necessary. “And he’s certainly alive! Just look at him!” I pointed angrily at Bobby whose eyes looked so sad that I knew he would have cried if he could.

The man sat down on his knees in front of Bobby and asked him. “What do you feel about your owner? Do you like him?”

“Yes?” Bobby replied a little confused. “But he is not my owner, he’s my friend.”

“Okay.” The man stood up again and asked me if he could borrow my computer for a moment. I said yes without knowing what he was about to do. I thought that he would just check out my programming of the car, but he wasn’t.

“No! Stop!” I screamed, when I realized what he was doing, but the man ignored me, turned away from the computer and sat down in front of Bobby again asking him the same as before.

This time Bobby answered. “I can’t feel because I’m not alive and I can’t remember who my owner is.”

“Now you see,” the man said triumphant. “This robot has no heart, it has no memory that can’t be deleted, and it certainly can’t feel. So I don’t see why I should appreciate your work. Instead I think you need serious help. I mean, your work has absolutely no meaning and no one can use this invention beside from a robot that doesn’t care about you anymore?”

“Why would you do this?” I screamed as my eyes became filled with tears.

“Because I want to help you, you need to understand the true meaning of life and learn what real love is.”

Those words made me collapse crying on the floor. Deep down I knew that he lied, but the sight of Bobby standing there looking at me like I was an object acting strange, broke something deep inside me, something that can never really be fixed.  

Dear reader, I need you to read this little story and understand that I wasn’t the one without purpose in life. Today I lost my dearest friend because of nothing, but one mans need to prove that he was right, and the saddest thing about that is that I’m still not nearly convinced. I’ve experienced love, and now I have also tried to lose it. I’ll never wish this awful experience on anyone, so dear reader listen to me. Hold on to what you care about, and never ever let anyone ruin it.


“Technology can always grow, but humans never change.”  

John Cooper, December 1th 2068
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