Can a robot save the birthrate, and convince childless couples to have kids?
Do you remember back in the '80s and '90s when sitcoms featuring teens always had an episode about that home economics assignment in which the kids had to treat an egg or doll as an actual baby?
Well, Japanese scientists are now getting into the act. The nation, as you might know, has not been reproducing at a replacement rate (2.1 births per woman), and that has a number of social scientists on edge. The Huffington Post has word that a new device is on the way to help ameliorate some anxieties around baby making in Japan. Oddly, the device doesn't poke holes in condoms or provide an antidote for birth control. Instead, the device is a semi-robotic baby that cries and interacts somewhat like a real baby, but looks a little like a giant Tamagotchi. The hope is that Yotaro will trigger
trick parents into desperately wanting a baby. Check out more details and the video over at Huffington Post if you want more on the phenomenon. Couple Married By Robot In Japan
Not that I'm an expert on this, but it seems as if burdening couples with something that behaves like a baby may not be the best way to convince them to procreate. You gotta grease the wheels, Japan. Over here, we tell people that childbirth and parenthood are the best things that will ever happen to them, and insist that life would be incomplete without a child.
One could also find a few exceptionally well-behaved kids and let the undecided or tweaked-up play with them for no more than 30 minutes. That's just enough time to give someone baby fever, but not enough time for the novelty to wear off, or the kid to get ornery. Is There A Perfect Time To Get Pregnant?
And if that doesn't work, Japan could always start raising taxes on items like condoms and the pill, making them both wildly expensive and unaffordable.