Futurology blog: what’s the next trend that’ll disrupt our world, financially, socially or just pointlessly?

Friday, 19 September 2008

GM, A.I. and my daughter's birthday

I’ve just ordered a unicorn foal to give to my daughter for her sixth birthday. Not one of those nasty bodge jobs where they graft on an ibex horn in the middle of a horse’s forehead, this is the real thing, gene spliced to perfection.

I can’t wait to see my little girl’s face. Especially when the baby unicorn speaks to her in its cute little voice. OK, the unicorn won’t actually have a proper voice box, it would need a human brain as well to do real speech and I’m not sure I’d want that even if it was legal, which, as we all know, it isn’t.

So they’re installing the latest voice synthesizer plus voice-recognition and speech AI into a jewel-like casing and implanting that on the forehead below the horn. It’ll have wi-fi functionality so the AI and voice can be upgraded as my daughter gets older.

Also, if the AI starts talking complete nonsense, it can be rebooted – I can even send it things to say, which could work out brilliantly if my daughter’s having a hissy fit about having a bath or doing her homework or whatever. Imagine. “I eat grass, you should eat your broccoli.”

There’s a power supply built in somehow, works off the horse’s, sorry, unicorn’s, body heat in some ingenious way.

OK, so it’s all costing me an arm and a leg but it’s going to be worth it when the neighbours see it strutting by. It’ll knock their griffin right off its perch. The stupid thing hasn’t even learnt how to fly, gets a broken leg every time they give it a go.

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