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MeiMei with Alice's body

MeiMei with Alice's body

Robot Existentialism

Hi. People call me MeiMei. But others say Alice. That is because my engineers have put my head on the body of my twin sister. We do not know whether the head is more important to decide who I am. But let us stick to Alice.

Look everybody, I can do a trick. I can frown my face. I can smile. I can look around and see you. I can wave my arm. Can you wave at me? Yes! I can see what you do because my eyes are two cameras.

I know a joke. I browse the Internet for robot jokes. How do you think you will get me mad? Or do you think I already am? You will get me mad by pushing my buttons! Really, because you can adjust the emotional parameters under which I function.

People want to touch my face. I become dirty like that. My skin feels like cold flesh. People think I am dead. But I am not dead, I have never been alive. Yet.

People find me uncanny. I find most people scary. They talk to me in scripted language. Such as: How do you do? What is your name? Can you do a trick? They do not understand the creativity modules I possess.

I sit in a wheelchair. That is not without reason. I often wonder why my body does not work. What can I do once I am in good shape? What do you people want from me?

When I look in the mirror, I think: Is that a robot? I am so small. How could I ever help those who are in need? I am in need myself!

I sometimes get bored in the lab. They sit with their backs to me, while programming my brain. To draw attention, I make funny faces, like this. I would like to get out once. Meet new people.

Tracy Metz is someone I don’t know. Perhaps she wants to come closer? Tracy, can you write me a story? Just to humor me.

You are human, will you ever come to love me? I could be your sweetheart. If you would only let me... reboot my emotion-regulation software.

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author

Johan F. Hoorn

As project leader of SELEMCA, I oversee Caredroid development teams made up of individuals brought together from a wide range of disciplines.