Commentary

New and improved Furby vs. same old dog

We humans aren’t the only ones that need to worry about robots taking our jobs. Looks like pets might have to start looking over their furry shoulders:

Furby is back in a new version that has 500KB of memory, which is six times what the original had, and uses voice recognition to respond to its owner. The latest Furby has a wider range of expressions, movement and vocabulary. It can laugh, smile, frown, gasp, yawn and express fear or boredom using its flexible beak, ears and eyebrows. Most intriguingly, the new Furby responds to vocal commands. If you ask Furby to tell you a joke, it will most likely deliver a knock-knock zinger.

Plus the new Furby costs about 40 bucksââ?¬â??much less than a pure-bred lab.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.