Poverty affecting bots?

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Poverty affecting bots?

Postby Spaz » Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:29 pm

I was thinking, after writing one of my recent stories, that maybe poverty could affect bots in the same way it affects humans, by making them fatter.

Consider, fast food is cheaper, so poor people buy more of it, making them unhealthy and more obese. Now, consider that smaller tech components, such as batteries and processors, would be more expensive than bulkier, less efficient ones, therefore making poor people own more obese looking androids, while rich people could own skinnier/sleeker bots with the same mental capacity.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Poverty affecting bots?

Postby General » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:57 pm

It's an interesting concept and makes sense from a tech standpoint that larger would for the most part be cheaper.

A larger unit would also have more space for heat flow which could be an issue. Larger units would be able to use more generic parts and wouldn't require such a tailored fit (enough room to install an NVIDA, AMD or generic card).

More space would also allow for future expand-ability so you could keep your robot longer and swap out newer parts when needed.

Thinking kind of desktop vs laptop. People will spend a crap ton of money on a super slick, name brand, sub inch thick laptop. It's three times the price of a normal laptop (to save an inch of thickness and a pound of weight) and won't last as long due to poor heat transfer. But it tells all the other folks at Starbucks or college that you have $$$ and are therefore important. Meanwhile there's someone else with a home grown desktop, that has 10 times the horsepower, can be easily repaired and will last for a decade; but it's seen as the 'poor kid' option.

For a lot of history, people will spend a lot of money on some crazy things just as a way to show off that they have a lot of money. And it can be completely impractical, but highly fashionable. When you think about it, maybe half of all fashion trends are just a way to project "look at me I'm important and have lots of money".

So I could see a future where ultra slim robots are a hot ticket item. All the parts would have to be custom built and optimized for the frame, you couldn't do repairs or upgrades on your own; which all shows folks that you have $$$ and can afford to buy impractical robots.

In an odd twist if told from the robot's perspective, the most expensive, fanciest robots would have the shortest lifespan. Yes they'd be hot and desirable but may not last more than 4 or 5 years. Where the larger, less fashionable unit might last 20 or more with regular repairs and updates.

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Re: Poverty affecting bots?

Postby Erntoron » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:21 am

You could expand this idea on many more places such as;

-Hair: the more expensive ones do not wear wigs but instead have their hair sewn into the head. Makes for a much more realistic look, but is a pain for maintenance and can't be easily switched out.
-Seams: The less visible seams, the more expensive the bot is.
-Voice: The expensive ones use high quality speakers to sound almost human-like and the cheaper ones sound very artifical.
-Noise: The cheaper ones would have bulkier und less specialized cooling parts and such, generating much more noise than the slim high-end models.
-Eye-tracking: Have the high end models use more realistic eye movement and the cheap ones have this almost blank stare way of looking at things.
-Smell: The high end models smell really nice and the cheap ones like hot plastic.

Just to name a few ideas.
You could also make food a rare resource and switch up the entire dynamic. xD
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Re: Poverty affecting bots?

Postby Saya » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:02 pm

Well, seeing as how the poverty and fat issue comes largely from dietary issues (foods marketed as cheaper tend to be loaded with sodium and sugar, which not only cause weight gain but can do all sorts of nasty things to the human heart and circulatory system), I'd say that you'd probably not see a lot of "fat" fembots. If anything, I'd see cheaper fembots as being smaller and slimmer, or as slim as their competition, just packed with less electronics and decreased overall functionality. Generally speaking, cheaper electronic products like knock-off game consoles or smart phones tend to be smaller for those reasons.

I think that it would mostly come down to materials more than size of the frame or body. You'd probably have a fembot made of cheaper materials, stiffer plastics, more rubbery skin, less smoother movements and of course, she'd be much more fragile. I'd imagine there'd probably even be real knock-off cheapo options that don't even move under their own power, and basically would be gigantic, adult "smart" toys, like the latest versions of Furby.
"If the time should ever come when what is now called science, thus familiarized to men, shall be ready to put on, as it were, a form of flesh and blood, the Poet will lend his divine spirit to aid the transfiguration, and will welcome the Being thus produced, as a dear and genuine inmate of the household of man."
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Re: Poverty affecting bots?

Postby Propman » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:41 pm

I actually have a couple of larger characters in my stories (the Duchess, warlord Ekaterina or the upcoming Jill), and they're plus-sized not because they're poor, but simply because someone wanted a plus-sized fembot for a certain purpose. The Duchess is an imposing grande dame, Jill is an African-American hard-nosed businesswoman, and Ekaterina uses her curvy body to her advantage. I might crack a fat joke or two, but larger women aren't unattractive.

therefore making poor people own more obese looking androids, while rich people could own skinnier/sleeker bots with the same mental capacity.

If an android is of the same technical generation, larger size means more space for processing, which means that bigger robots could be more intelligent. They also have more storage space, whether for upgrades or additional processors.

Also an important thing - artificial muscles and servos don't have to conform to human body shape. A fembot might have sculpted body but this does not mean she's stronger, what matters is the power of her limbs, and a chubbier robot lady might actually hide great strength.

Ekaterina is essentially a robot housewife who became a world conqueror because she was bored; her owner wanted a big pale Slavic blonde... and she went even further. She's very attractive and as a robot, she doesn't bother with chafing, blood pressure... so she can afford to wear tight clothing hugging her figure, like corsets. In my mind, she's more cunning than her frenemy Bonnie. Cass is a newer model than Ekaterina and so is more intelligent, but Ekaterina is still disciplined and forceful.

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Re: Poverty affecting bots?

Postby smalk » Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:30 am

Cheaper smartphone are not significantly bigger than the most expensive ones.

The same can be said about cars, or any other electronic appliance, really.

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Re: Poverty affecting bots?

Postby Clink » Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:31 am

There could also be the issue of damage. Poor models are less maintained, like a cheap car. Scrapes and dings that don’t need be fixed to maintain function aren’t bothered with.
When replacing parts they might not match exactly, like a miscoloured eye or different sized arm. New and expensive models have high end replacement parts, old and cheap models can get parts from generic retailers and refurbished scrapyards.

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