[ExI] Japan turning itself into Cyberman machine civilisation

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Wed Apr 16 20:45:33 UTC 2008

Japan turning itself into Cyberman machine civilisationThree million
converted to undying robotoids by 2025By Lewis
More by this author <http://search.theregister.co.uk/?author=Lewis%20Page>
Published Wednesday 9th April 2008 09:03 GMT

Enormous numbers of people are being replaced by (or perhaps converted into)
robots, reports suggest, and the trend is set to continue.

Indeed, the issue has become so salient in Japan that a specialist
thinktank, the Machine Industry Memorial Foundation (MIMF?), has been set up
to monitor the gradual infiltration of society by mechanoid impostors.

Reuters reports that MIMF's latest estimates predict that 3.5 million
Japanese workers - nearly three per cent of the population - will actually
be automatic surrogates as of 2025.

In fact, the idea is that this is positive - the greying of Japan's
population is well known, as is its failure to reproduce itself.

The Reuters scribes seem to imply that, rather than being invaded from
within by an unwelcome droid fifth column, Japan will willingly convert
itself from a flesh-based to a machine civilisation as a matter of choice,
rather as the Cybermen (of *Doctor Who* fame) did in their remote past.

"Robots are important because they could help to alleviate... shortage of
the labour force," said Takao Kobayashi of MIMF.

But there are still obstacles in the way before the Land of the Rising Sun
can go fully cyborg: it seems that ageing Japanese citizens remain reluctant
to be converted into eternal machine workers.

Blighty is thought by some to be facing a similar problem, as noted media
robomageddon professor and gladiatordroid expert Noel Sharkey has famously
said <http://www.compeng.ulster.ac.uk/events/ecbs2008/sharkey.php>:

This has become a passion for me. There is a cultural mythology about
robots... there are some real dangers that we may soon have to face. We need
proper informed public debate... we must decide what we want from them
before we dehumanize ourselves

"People need to have the will," adds Kobayashi.

Read all about it from Reuters

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