Dec 19, 2016 07:11 PM EST

'Gatebox AI' Features An Anime 'Virtual Assistant' Girlfriend 'Trapped In A Jar': The Embodiment of Apple's Siri and Amazon Echo?

By JC Santos

Any iPhone user with a question on where they would like to eat next would just ask Siri and she'd give you amazing results. For every update of the iPhone or the Amazon Echo, both AIs give convincingly real and hilarious responses that make them memorable. But a Japanese company wants to take things to the next level: a real-life holographic version of these assistants in the form of an anime "virtual assistant" girlfriend in a jar called the "Gatebox AI".

According to Engadget, Japanese innovator Vinclu Inc wants to give its customers a feel of the sensation of living with "your heroes." Anime fans may rejoice at the idea that Vinclu Inc concept product "Gatebox AI" would project their favorite anime character with voice controls.

Engadget notes the preorder site of Vinclu Inc features a "J-Pop" AI named "Hikari" and in a video, she wakes up her owner by "sensing" when he gets up and greets him with a submissive tone. The assistant -- once the "Internet of Things" is fully developed -- can then interact with home devices to set up meals and remind one of their current schedules for the day.

According to Gizmodo, the video itself is a horrifying glimpse to future isolation. Contributor Rhett Jones stressed that it is "a cynical ploy to gussy up questionable tech with emotional fulfillment." He also said the costs of owning a "Gatebox AI" could cost $2,500 without shipping.

Rhett Jones continues that it reminded him of a bizarre cross between the hit AI romance movie "Her" and the cynical and technophobic "Black Mirror" series notably the "White Christmas" episode. "Her" is about an introverted man who finds love from a semi-sentient and omniscient artificial intelligence. The "Black Mirror: White Christmas" episode deals with "cookies" -- artificial intelligence built from extracting brainwave patterns from its users -- that function similarly as Vinclu's "Gatebox AI" when it comes to home management.

In fact, "Black Mirror" is notorious for showing the downsides of future technologies and its effects on society. Highlighting Instagram addiction, figurehead idolization, and advanced memory storage even for humans are just some of the dark themes the series covers.

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