This creepy talking interactive flowerpot for seniors is creepy

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/09/12/this-creepy-talking-interactiv.html

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Please tell me this is really just some Black Mirror viral marketing…

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It has to be.

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“Eat the ice cream!”

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Pretty sure this is some dark satire, not a real product.

Edit: Well, I followed the link on the Youtube site, and there’s a legit-looking order form. If it IS real, that’s one of the saddest things I’ve seen all week.

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Where do you get the Benny-Benny to go with it?

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Holy shit? This is real? This is really real? Holy shit - what is happening?

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If they were going to rip off of the Iroquois False Face Society, they should have used this one:

images

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AHhhhhh! AHHHHH!

Don’t you forget to drink yourself…"

But I’m not liquid, Billy Billy! Don’t make me drink myself! I’ll behave! I swear!

Does anyone else feel like that’s a fake old lady voice? I’m only halfway through this… thing… but if that voice actually comes out of that lady by the end, it will be the most shocking part of the entire commercial for me.

ETA: Oh, sweet! It’s also an IoT thing! No worries about hackers sending grandma fake messages, surely.

Also, “Billy Billy hasn’t moved in a couple of days. Better make sure the cats haven’t eaten gramma.”

ETA2: Nope. She “talked” to it, but her head was turned away from the camera and the voice sounded even more fake, so I’m calling bullshit on that.

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Equally as creepy, their other products:

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If your grandma doesn’t like plants, get her a robot to feed her ice cream.

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It sounds like it’s using default phrases and prompts so why the synthesized voice? Why not throw a nice voice actor a bone?
Perhaps someone who knows more about this can answer.

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Oh, man. Pepper is going into someone’s trunk.

Aside from that, it looks so easy to tip over. Just poke the touch screen too hard, and “Pepper… meet floor.”

http://zorarobotics.be/index.php/en/zorabot-pepper

Pepper is the serving solution of the NAO robot of Softbank Solutions which has an eagle’s eye thanks to his high-resolution cameras. He also hears every noise with his adjustable microphones.

Seriously. trunk.

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[Billy Billy]: Look Martha, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over.

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On November 3, 2020, it’ll probably say: “Hello. My name is Billy Billy. Don’t forget to vote for Donny Donny.”

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That was my immediate thought as well. They capture the tone so perfectly - you already know something is creepy and messed-up before they even get into the plot.

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I was trying to place the accent, and i think it’s a version of the Mid-Atlantic accent, which is not a naturally learned accent intended to sound semi-natural to American and British listeners. I think this version ended up in the uncanny valley.

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You might have been too creeped out to hear the end where the infernal thing read her her granddaughter’s message gave her tomorrow’s weather.


Edited to add: Oh the shame, oh the infamy! I used the wrong too/to.

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For me it’s less about the accent, and more about the way it has been made to quaver. It just sounds off.

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