TOKYO (Reuters) - Spring graduation ceremonies in Japan have been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but students at one school were able to attend remotely by controlling avatar robots while logged on at home.
The robots, dubbed “Newme” by developer ANA Holdings, were dressed in graduation caps and gowns for the ceremony at the Business Breakthrough University in Tokyo.
The robots’ “faces” were tablets that displayed the faces of the graduates, who logged on at home and controlled the robots via their laptops.
One by one, the robots motored toward the podium to receive their diplomas. School staff clapped and said “congratulations!” as University President Kenichi Ohmae placed the diplomas on a rack mounted on the robot’s midsection.
Fuuuuuck that. Let me tell ya something if I was one of these kids there is a 0.0% chance I'm going to this fucking 'graduation'. Sure, if it was live and in-person I'd be there. Even then, I'd only be going to hang out with my family and friends but since NO ONE other than the students are there, there's no point. Why join a video chat with school when you can just video chat with your friends instead? It's not like they can take away the diploma for not showing up to a fake graduation.
Is the ceremony really that important that they had to make robots to use from remote locations? For sure not. The part that kills me is the fact that the students just aren't getting their diplomas at that point in time. The school is just gonna end up mailing it anyways! Why show up? Just stick that diploma in an envelope, ship it and be done with it already. No need to hold a half-assed graduation that no one really cares about. That's all the kids really want, they don't care about anything else at the end of the day. They just want that piece of paper so they can make like a fetus and head out.
Honestly, graduations just suck in general. You have to sit there for hours, next to people you don't even really like, waiting for a diploma that you've waited for your whole life. Sure, it may be cool to have that moment with your family and friends but at the end of the day, you just got a piece of paper for not being terrible at school. That's all it is.
And why are the staff there? Are they not worthy enough of getting a robot or does the school just not care about their well being as much as the students? It must suck having to go out and risk getting exposed to coronavirus just so you can clap it up for a bunch of fucking iPads. It has to make the re-evaluate life just a little bit, no?
I will say this though, the fact they get to control their robots from their house is pretty cool. Just a shame it's being wasted on such a stupid event. Who knows, maybe I'm missing something here but this just seems like the least efficient way this could be done.
PS - if this happened in America, those iPads would be displaying some pretty absurd stuff. Kids will do anything to go viral these days so they'd abuse it. You've seen it with all the zoom classes, I can only imagine hundreds of kids on graduation. It's all fun and games until someone decides to the moon every teacher at graduation because they're remote and the consequences seem so far away.
PPS - this is just another step towards the robot uprising