With all the billions of people on this earth, the Japanese are solving the problem of loneliness and isolation the only way they know how-with cute robots.
A 62-pound smooth white glorified iPhone with the smile inducing name of Pepper to be exact. For my money I would have gone with Broccoli, the most bizarre of vegetables. I mean really, it is like eating trees, uncanny valley trees. Think about it.
SoftBank, the company that brings you this humanoid wonder for the low low price of $1,900, if you happen in live in Japan, sees it as a companion and friend. Little Pepper can't clean your house, crush your recyclables into a cube or restart your heart after his cooing voice startles you in the long dark night.
Being a cell phone service provider, SoftBank has also thoughtfully installed WiFi into potentially Pepper's head, so there is that. Where or not this means Pepper can be used by the NSA to watch you as you sleep at night, like that creepy ex, remains to be seen.
While the initial version of Pepper can basically coo at you, and to some degree decode your emotions as well as perceive touch on its hands and head through sensors, it is unclear what it actually does when you are sobbing in a heap in the corner or drunkenly accusing it of not really ever loving you.
What it can do is tell you that it just wants to be loved, which I am pretty sure you could teach a parrot to do over and over again. Plus a parrot has the added bonus of actually being alive.
SoftBank has promised that there are added applications that can be installed for Pepper to enhance its capabilities, though it remains to be seen if there is a world domination/robot apocalypse app, since after all, Pepper just wants to be your friend. Won't you be its friend, please?