Feeds

Japan turning itself into Cyberman machine civilisation

Three million converted to undying robotoids by 2025

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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:

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 further.

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

Read all about it from Reuters here. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Beancounters tell NASA it's too poor to fly planned mega-rocket
Space Launch System would need another $400m and a lot of time
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.