Holland: Will Rosie the Robot ever come?


Teresa Holland

There’s been so much in the news lately about whether Artificial Intelligence (AI) can think, learn, and even replace human thinking. It is currently being tested whether we like it or not.

I’m not going to get into the pros and cons of AI. To be honest, I’m still stuck on the “doing” part of what was envisioned for the future rather than the artificial thinking, AI part. I’m actually quite disappointed that we don’t have robots or, more accurately, that I don’t have a robot like Rosie on “The Jetsons” cartoon show that I watched as a kid. She was full service from cleaning, cooking, answering the door, and even putting fresh flowers on the table. I think we are really lagging here as a society.

Instead, we have a small sweeper that maps out your house to clean all the floors. We have various devices that we can talk to that will turn the lights on and off and will even let us see who is at the door without having to get up to look out the peephole.

However, we do have robots! You might see them in some hospitals or university campuses where they are delivering small-size supplies or maybe pizza. But they too have some growing up to do. They are not as tall as “Star Wars” C3PO and are even shorter than R2D2, and they don’t carry holographic top-secret messages, at least not yet.

Robots are now being trialed in some restaurants that are fairly close to home. However, these look more like rolling food trays. They can take your order (and your credit card) and then bring your food to your table. But alas, unlike Jetsons’ robot, Rosie, these new waiter robots don’t have arms and hands, so you still need a server to place the food before you or you could do it yourself.

Hmmm… I wonder if you get a discount for serving yourself or if a tip is still expected?

My guess would be yes, since robots have to be paid for.

But the biggest technological disappointment is that I don’t have a Jetson flying car. All the years I’ve been stuck in traffic on I-70, I’ve always thought a flying car would be absolutely great. One where I can just rise above all the other cars and zoom ahead of them all in my own private lane in the air. Instead, I’m supposed to embrace electric cars while wondering where and how I can charge them on a long trip. How much does one cost and by what year?

Yes, as I look to the future and the advances to come, I can’t help but think that my Rosie will never come.

We are seriously way behind. But not all is lost, as we will have electric cars, bike lanes and sundry devices. Such is progress.

But I’m still holding out for that flying car to zoom above I-70.

Teresa Holland is a guest columnist, writer, and retired advanced-practice registered nurse. Send comments to [email protected].