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“Virtual Children” for the Good of Earth

What if you had a child who was simply a virtual reality, who had no existence about from your own wishes? British psychologist Catriona Campbell, whose aim is to secure “a healthy, human-centred relationship with AI,” thinks that’s the way of the future and better for the planet.

The vision of the author of AI by design: A Plan for Living with Artificial Intelligence (Chapman and Hall/CRC, 2022, is spelled out at Study Finds:

The overpopulation crisis could be solved within 50 years thanks to the evolution of “virtual children,” one of Britain’s leading artificial intelligence experts claims. Computer-generated babies that cost about $25 a month are likely to become commonplace by the early-2070s, according to Catriona Campbell.

In addition to her expertise in AI, Campbell is also one of the UK’s top authorities in emerging and disruptive technologies, and a former UK Government adviser. She says by 2070, augmented reality (AR) and haptic “touch-sensitive” gloves will make the experience potentially “lifelike.”

Study Finds, “‘Virtual babies’ who grow up in real time will be commonplace by 2070, expert predicts” at Study Finds (May 31, 2022)

Geoff Allen, the “Study Finds Guy” is clearly not a virtual tot fan: In a nutshell, he responds, having child is about the child; having virtual child is about you.

Elsewhere, many benefits are asserted:

Virtual parenting works through taking care of a child through buttons and AR devices that provide lifelike features. It will heavily rely on catering to the sense of touch and virtual and holographic projections. Moreover, there would be no cost for space, food, and health maintenance of these made-up children as long as real-world parents take good care of them.

Today, more than 300,000 infants are born every single day. The total number of newborns surpasses even the mortality rate of the planet. Many studies show that the trend would lead to an explosion of the global population by 2100, reaching a whopping 11 billion. Alongside the increase in birth rate, many diseases, crime-related activities, and food shortages would occur.

Ron Jefferson, “Virtual ‘Tamagochi’ Children Will Give Parents Real-Life Experience With Kids in the Metaverse By 2070” at Science Times (June 1, 2022)

The claims about population above are misleading. First, the number of infants born every day is a function of the size of the current adult population — in the same way that the number of calves born in a barn is a function of how many cows live there. It says nothing about birth rate, which is the key figure for long-term prediction.

Even doomsayers admit that birth rates are declining globally, due mainly to urbanization (less living space) and industrialization (reduced need for human labor). If Big Tech players and governments do nothing at all, human population growth will slow. Some populous countries, like Japan, are already in absolute population decline due to low birth rates.

A less well-recognized factor in the increase in the human population is increasing longevity. Across the world, modern medicine has meant that people who are born alive today tend to live much longer than they would have lived if they had they been born a century earlier. It’s the same people, okay? And they are not having bunch more kids, They are having fewer kids — but they themselves are still around at 70 years of age.

More usefully, we learn from ScienceDaily that a number of couples today think they cannot afford (actual) children:

According to a 2020 study by YouGov, about ten percent of childless couples are hesitant to give birth to an offspring due to overpopulation concerns, and a separate ten percent do not want to build a family due to the costs of raising a child.

Ron Jefferson, “Virtual ‘Tamagochi’ Children Will Give Parents Real-Life Experience With Kids in the Metaverse By 2070” at Science Times (June 1, 2022)

Inflation can have more significant long-term outcomes than current yelps of dismay at the prices posted at the gas pump.

The idea of virtual children has been compared to the Nineties craze for wristwatch size Tamagotchi characters with whom owners could have pseudo-relationships:

There were no real-world consequences for causing one’s forgotten Tamagotchi character to die of abuse or neglect; presumably, that would also be true of virtual children — thus entrenching a behavior pattern in the “parent.”

But our futurist remains hopeful:

“This will lead to the first, fully digital demographic which, although somewhat strange on first appearance, in fact represents what could be one of mankind’s most important technological breakthroughs since the advent of the Bronze Age given its potential impact on global populations and societal change,” she said.

The technologist also suggested that parental satisfaction could be even higher with virtual children — with more control over how their digital spawn is designed. Their lifespan could be preprogrammed, and exist in real time, or allow parents to “activate” them at their convenience, as children on-demand.

Hannah Sparks, “We’ll have ‘virtual’ babies within 50 years, AI expert predicts” at New York Post (June 1, 2022)

And de-activate them, perhaps permanently, when bored.

Campbell believes that virtual children would be a good test run for real-world parenthood. They certainly would be if children were completely disposable at all stages of development. Apart from that, this proposal is likely to become — and remain — a minor mid-twenty-first century urban cult.

You may also wish to read: Sophia the Robot retooled to help with senior care. Hanson Robots sees a huge opportunity in the COVID lockdowns for a mass robot rollout that substitutes for human companionship. Replacing health care staff with robots is a huge change in a value system where human contact has been seen—by seniors and others—as critical for well-being.

mind matters

6 Comments on "“Virtual Children” for the Good of Earth"

  1. FamousDrScanlon on Sun, 12th Jun 2022 2:02 am 

    American elementary school mass shootings are good for the earth.

    Also good for gun sales the next day. Post mass shooting guns-N-ammo record sales have been going on for years. The retard justification is paranoia that “they” iz gonna take our gunz away.

    There’s a term for continually being paranoid about something that has not happened in 20 years of being paranoid about it. DUMB FUCK.
    It’s like winning most stupid person award in town for 20 years running.

    Yabut da NRA tolze me dey waz gunna tak me gunz away…Duh duh duh

    The authorities still tell American kids to duck-and-cover only now it’s for a different weapon of mass destruction than nukes – bullets.

    Bullets have killed more than nukes.

    Unfortunately the fire arms are so powerful they shoot right through the desk top and turn the kids heads into pink mists.

    No worries it’s good fer da conomy an good fer da enviromint – thanks mass shooter!

  2. Theedrich on Mon, 13th Jun 2022 5:55 pm 

    The West is run by oligarchs (Soros, Gates, &c.). And by their Foundations and NGOs.

    The following is a condensed version of a German interview (for those who speak German) at

    In 2009 the swine flu was used as a kind of test balloon to sell the antidotal vaccinations that Big Pharma had spent billions of dollars to develop.  But no one bought the vaxxes, a monetary loss which depressed the chiefs of these organizations.  After a lot of brainstorming, they decided that the masses had to be forced to buy their next antidote.  After 2017 they included lockdowns and border closures in their plans to impose the decree.  Social media were also part of the new attack on the masses.  From 2020 they directed the complicit media to implement a “cancel culture” strategy to defeat any alternative views.  They inserted their “advisors” into regimes to get governments to follow the plan of a pharma-profiteering dictatorship.  Bill Gates started up a number of NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) with allegedly philanthropic names and mission statements, but which in fact sucked taxpayer money out of governments into his pocket.  For every dollar he invested in these “Public-Private Partnerships” (PPPs), he received ten back.  Gates also founded GAVI (“Global Alliance for Vaccination,” formerly “Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization”) plus several other “health-care” foundations to push his global plans.  Gates is also the largest contributor to the WHO (World Health Organization), to which he gave $2.6 billion.  Examples of Gates’ gifts to various endowments and NGOs, according to Thomas Röper, are:  GAVI Alliance, $4,949,056,550;  World Health Organization, $3,391,992,246;  The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, $2,998,391,281;  PATH (Program for Appropriate Technology in Health), $2,588,413,190;  plus many more, with huge kickbacks of taxpayer dollars to Gates.

    In brief, for the mass media, Gates is the great benefactor of mankind, but in fact, the purpose of all these endowments and foundations of Gates is not to do good and save the world, but to increase the wealth of Bill Gates and his economic control over the West.  Until about 2011, the U.S. government held hearings about him, concerned that he was becoming too powerful with his ability to buy the entire world, but from that time he assumed the mantle of the great global benefactor.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has given ~$300 million to the mass media.  Other oligarchs do likewise.  In Germany, the media are little more than Gates propaganda organs.

    Important complicit reptilian organizations are:  Wellcome Trust (part pharmaceutical predecessor of GlaxoSmithKline) in London, which conceals its financial operations in offshore locations, but after Bill Gates is the second largest health foundation in the world;  next is Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum (Weltwirtschaftsforum), with Klaus a close associate of Gates;  World Wildlife Fund;  the Rockefeller Foundation;  among others.

    In sum, Bill Gates is not the “great Do-gooder” or philanthopist, but a monster thief camouflaging himself as a saint.  And the international media and governments all do his bidding in order to get bribes from him.  In Germany, the various endowments — the Bertelsmann Stiftung, Axel Springer Stiftung, Spiegel Stiftung — are controlled by Gates, and so cannot publish anything against the hand that feeds them.

    As regards COVID, Peter Daszak and Anthony Fauci (“Fauci-Ouchy”) slipped money to the Chinese Wuhan laboratory to invent a zoonotic (animal-derived) virus which would be deadly for humans.  Of course the two denied it, as would be expected of any criminals.  A further fact is that all of the so-called “specialists” in biology have not worked in a laboratory for decades;  they are lobbyists for Big Pharma, not researchers from the laboratories themselves.  In other words, they are the source of yet more lies.  In addition, there are all kinds of Pharma agents, governmental bribe-takers, and even DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) bio-weapons people participating in this deadly masquerade of corruption.

    The ultimate aim is to use “Public-Private Partnerships” (PPPs) to control the entire globe.  Governments are viewed as much too slow and inept to deal with what the globemasters think is important.  Therefore they must be directed by the World Economic Forum (effectively, by Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates, Soros, and associates) to guide humanity in the right direction.  The WEF will decide, the governments will pay.  “Democracy” is only a figleaf for the ignorant masses.  The SGD (Sustainable Development Goals) agenda must provide the governing theology and theocracy with its pretty words and brutal methods.

    Which means, in the end, the path to doom.

  3. Dredd on Wed, 15th Jun 2022 7:50 am 

    Would ‘virtual viruses’ be a threat to virtual children (On The Origin Of The Home Of COVID-19 – 30)?

  4. five nights at freddy's on Tue, 21st Jun 2022 10:53 pm 

    Technological breakthroughs can change the world in the future, I have high hopes for big changes

  5. contact on Wed, 26th Oct 2022 5:26 am 

    A great innovation for the kids.

  6. TZ Containers on Fri, 28th Oct 2022 12:47 pm 

    If this thing gets real it would be awesome!

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