Are you ready for this? Can you stomach the truth? If things continue spiraling madly out of control
as they are right now, there's at least a modicum of a chance that your children or grandchildren will greet a lifelike robot when sashaying in for the first day of kindergarten. Horrifying, we know. A new research effort published in this month's Science
outlines new ways in which humanoids could actually be used to instruct our little ones. At the core of the project is imitation; humans, especially young ones, learn a multitude of mannerisms and such by simply watching others. Thus, it stands to reason that robots are "well-suited to imitate us, learn from us, socialize with us and eventually teach us." Already, these social bots are being used on an experimental basis to teach various skills to preschool children, "including the names of colors, new vocabulary words and simple songs." Just think -- in 2071, those harmless lessons will morph into studies of subterfuge, insurrection and rapacity.