Living with robots - Dhaka in 2050 | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 28, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:13 AM, December 28, 2017

Living with robots - Dhaka in 2050

The year's 2050, Bangladesh is the leading exporter of robots across the world. Only recently have robots become affordable for the middle-class, priced conveniently around a few lacs, Bangladeshis jumped on the bandwagon with unmatched gusto as they always do. However, are we actually ready for robots? We'll let you judge from the stories of the future.

Aklima and Sharmin are housewives who are neighbours. They spend each afternoon together over tea discussing the latest gossip in the apartment complex. They still haven't fully embraced the exponential growth of machine learning and robotics and as such, they always make sure to never speak in front of their robot maid Moynar Ma X17:LE.

The X17:LE happily brings forth the tea tray and serves them as the two women eye her warily. As she leaves, they both sigh in relief.

“I can never get used to these robots. Something always seems off to me,” says Aklima.

“I totally get what you mean but at least your one isn't like Mrs. Amin's,” replies Sharmin.

“Oh?”Aklima raises her eyebrows at the day's first piece of gossip.

“Mmhmm. I suspect that Mrs. Amin's daughter is having an affair with the tutor robot. I have seen it with my own eyes!”

“So have I, Aklimaapa! Just that day, I saw them sitting together unsupervised in the living room. You know how these teenagers are nowadays. Nothing stops them ever!”

“Apa, that's nothing. I actually saw them together at the bookstore the other day when I took little Abed. They were standing way too close together, going over the books. I could see it in her eyes,” Sharmin nodded gravely as she sipped her cup of tea.

“Should we tell Amin bhabi that her daughter might be dating a robot?”

“Oh, you know how these people are. They are hell bent on thinking that these robots don't feel anything.”

They nodded in unison, knowing full well that they will confront Mrs. Amin about this as soon as they get the chance. 



Rakib sat across his boss's desk. Tahmid was the CEO of an ad agency called CreaTIVE. He had called Rakib to discuss a major hurdle at work.

“What seems to be the problem? I thought finally being the first ad agency with robot designers would increase our output tenfold instead of missing each and every deadline the past week,” asked Tahmid.

“Sir, I don't understand what's the problem. Trollton said that all their robots would completely understand standard agency briefs but the robots keep saying they can't access the files because they aren't allowed to even though we've forwarded everything on the Drive,” said Rakib.

“Did you call Customer Care? What did they say?”

“They said to check through the logs and see what's happening but only you have access to that,” Rakib meekly replied.

Without further ado, both of them sat down and played the interactive log of SSRAHEB-01, their robot designer.

Rakib seemed to have downloaded all the necessary files from Google Drive and he even made the layouts correctly. However, there was one part of the resource acquisition process that he failed to accomplish. The final set of instructions in the creative brief told him to download resources from and modify them—your standard agency practice.

Unfortunately, every time SSRAHEB-01 tried downloading a resource from FreePik, he would never pass the “I am not a robot” test and thus would wait at his desk throughout the day, waiting to become a human being. 


DAR-1, sat in the interrogation room surrounded by the frowning inhabitants of the building that he was the security guard of. There was a robbery and he openly claimed to have let the robbers in. When asked why he did such a thing, he started crying artificial tears made with the oil in his eye sockets.

“Sir, you weren't there. You don't know the things they said,” DAR-1 kept sobbing as he wiped the black tears off his face, leaving a smudge all over.

“What did they tell you?” screamed his master as he grabbed DAR-1's collar.

“Please sir, if you were there, you would've done the same thing I did,” replied DAR-1.

“But what did they say to you?” The owner's voice got louder.

“Sir, they threatened to kidnap my family,” DAR-1's face had been covered in black oil at this point.

All the people in the room looked at each other, confused. “But wait. Aren't you a robot? You're not supposed to have a family.”

“I don't have a family?!” DAR-1's eyes were wide open in shock. 


The Facebook group “Robot Society of Bangladesh” is created in 2048. All seven human admins moderate a group that's two million strong. Robots are not allowed.

Adnan Anik

55 minutes ago

I bought Moynar Ma X13 two years ago. After I did the recent software update, she is beginning to show emotions. Whenever I give her an order, she will carry it out but will make a face. I don't understand what's happening. The manual says that if there are any software problems, I am to ask her what's wrong. I did and she said that I should be nicer and thank her after each completed task. I don't understand??? Why do I need to thank her if I have bought her services? Can any kind soul plz tell me how to solve this issue??? TIA.


Sunehra checks the fridge and gasps in horror. No eggs. Her breakfast diet routine consisting of two omelettes, masala oats, and almonds would be ruined. Not to mention the backlash she will face from her band of followers if she couldn't get the perfect shot for her daily Instagram story. Knowing that she cannot haggle at all with the people who work at the general store down the alley, she calls Kamal from the other room. K-1208, affectionately called Kamal by his owners, is a Class “Ko” humanoid robot who was let go for really cheap by his previous owners. He specialises in everyday chores like walking the K-9 unit, doing the dishes, and most importantly, cleaning up the mess Sunehra makes with all her makeup. Sunehra told Kamal to get dui hali eggs. Kamal, not understanding the command, yet determined to prove himself to his master, set out with a resounding “Thikase, apa.”

After 20 minutes, Kamal came back with two crates of eggs. Shocked, Sunehra asked why Kamal made such a blunder. Kamal was taken aback as he thought he had completed the task successfully. Sunehra complained to the customer care department about this.

“Oh sorry, ma'am, I think your robot has a faulty Bangladeshi measurements translator. Please download the hotfix that we have dispatched to you just now.” 


It was just one of those days when the roads were packed with vehicles filled with weary commuters still recovering from waking up at dawn. HLP-R is the helper of a Jajlabeel bus and he was having one of the busiest days of his life. Ushering in passengers with his augmented voice box that had the volume of a megaphone, HLP-R was the star of the bus. He had always effectively sorted out passengers according to their stops, and always ensured timely collection of the fares. He also had the Traditional Helper software upgrade which made him call out stops like Farmgate as “Haromget”.

One day a lanky boy in his late teens got on to the Jaljabeel bus from Farmgate. He told HLP-R that he wanted to get off at Shyamoli. After a while, HLP-R began collecting the fares. The boy looked at him and confidently said “Mama, student.” Perplexed, HLP-R stared at the boy for a short while.

“I've found your Facebook profile by analysing your face and matching it with the 10,431 selfies you posted, all from the same angle. I'm sorry but your education info, which states you study Bengali (Hons.) at the Bosila University of Creative Engineering, doesn't check out.”

The boy was promptly “escorted” out of the bus. 

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