Television

Fifteen More Shows That Should Replace Humans With More Reliable Robots

A walking robot. i i
iStockphoto.com
A walking robot.
iStockphoto.com

You probably know by now what happened when an IBM computer battled two Jeopardy! champions in a three-day match this week. But in addition to the competition yielding an actual result, the event also reinvigorated interest in Jeopardy! Thus, we inevitably turn our attention to which other TV shows might benefit from an infusion of artificial intelligence. Or, in some cases, "intelligence."

1. American Idol. Given the prevalence of Auto-Tune, there's really no point in having vulnerable flesh-and-blood singers attempting to top each other with runs and glory notes when you could just plug in a couple of computers and have them tootle Martina McBride songs back and forth.

2. Two And A Half Men. Machines worth millions are easier to insure than certain actors, is my guess. Machines, after all, can be restored after an accidental memory wipe.

3. Dancing With The Stars. I'm just saying, you could mount the computer on the guts of a rebuilt Segway with stripped gears and it would be more graceful than Kate Gosselin.

4. Grey's Anatomy. Allowing patient care by sentient machines rather than semi-sentient drama queens might reduce instances of patient mortality brought on by "distracted physician busy in supply closet with severe case of sweaty palms complicated by partial nudity."

5. Cake Boss. Precision baking allows no room for family squabbles. Program Baker Watson to yell "And he wants it tuh-day!" for closer imitation of actual program.

6. CSI. Instead of expensive extras playing dead bodies, why not reorient the show around forensic investigations of computer crimes? Screen showing "HA HA UR HACKED" becomes the new man found with gardening shears in his skull and grass indigenous only to southern Chile under his fingernails.

7. Outsourced. This may have already happened, actually.

8. The Bachelor. "Bleep bloop journey, bleep bloop connection, bleep bloop chemistry, bleep bloop feelings, bleep bloop special, bleep bloop rose, bleep bloop nice knowing you, enjoy your breakup cover story in People."

9. The View. Imagine five robots in a semicircle debating Lindsay Lohan's latest court appearance. Don't lie; you would watch that show.

10. The Colbert Report. You couldn't actually do this; I'm just putting the suggestion here to freak him out if he Googles "Stephen Colbert attacked by robot?" Which I'm pretty sure he does from time to time.

11. Bleep My Dad Says. If you just change this to 'Bleep,' My Dad Says, it's pretty easy to see how it would work.

12. The Oprah Winfrey Show. The answer to her retirement has been staring us in the face this entire time. Computers can give away free stuff! Don't you read your poorly spelled emails from international lotteries?

13. Judge Judy. Don't get me wrong; I would miss the real judge. But there are days when it definitely seems like she's spending so much of her time saying "You're an idiot," "'Um' is not an answer," "I don't believe you," and "If it doesn't make sense, it's not true" that you could easily replace her with a well-programmed computer. Or a customized Talking Elmo.

14. Jersey Shore. [Insert virus joke here.]

15. The Apprentice. Donald Trump is a busy man. He would probably welcome the opportunity to be replaced by an adequately imperious supercomputer, and it's possible that the supercomputer would do a more convincing job of shilling for product-placed companies by explaining that every single one of them is the biggest, greatest, loudest, best-dressed, most powerful, most sweet-smelling organization in its category.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: