The National Science Foundation has committed $10 million to build robots that will act as “personal trainers” for children, in an effort to influence their behavior and eating habits.
The project will develop a “new breed of sophisticated ‘socially assistive’ robots,” designed to help children “learn to read, appreciate physical fitness, overcome cognitive disabilities, and perform physical exercises,” according to a news release by Yale University when the grant was first announced in 2012.
“Just like a good personal trainer, we want the robots to be able to guide the child toward a behavior that we desire,” said Brian Scassellati, a computer science professor at Yale and principal investigator for the study.
“What we want to do is move these robots out of the laboratory and into schools and homes and clinics, places where we can directly help children on a day-to-day basis,” he said.
The NSF grant said the project is necessary due to “critical societal problems.”
“The need for this technology is driven by critical societal problems that require sustained, personalized support that supplements the efforts of educators, parents, and clinicians,” the grant said.
Scassellati envisions the robots influencing nearly every aspect of children’s lives.
The ‘personal trainers’ children need are their parents. And it’s a sad commentary that so few are doing the job that engineers are getting involved. And make no mistake: this is an engineering project. This isn’t just about getting kids to eat their veggies. It’s about providing them with a constant companion that will program the little minds with whatever it’s been programmed to spout. Imagine a mechanical ‘coach’ reciting the secular left’s many mantras night and day at its human charge, and you can see the potential.
Ultimately, though, no mechanical device can provide children with what they need most: love.
Scores of studies show that many of the ‘critical societal problems’ we face today are rooted in the breakdown of the traditional family, which every corner of our society seems literally hell-bent on destroying. The family is God-designed and ordained out of His wisdom. If our leaders were truly serious about aiding effective childhood development, they’d seek to contribute to the restoration of that social fabric. Since the family is a competing source of authority, though, that will never happen. The nature of the State is not to rest until all other sources of power and cohesion–church, family, community — are brought to heel.
Just remember as these autocratic automatons are rolled out: “it’s for the children.”