Sometimes help can come from where you least expect it… like, REALLY least expect it.
Throwing away trash in Japan can be a complicated nightmare. Paper, plastic, glass, burnable… all of them and more have their own days to be put out, and if you miss collection day, then you have to keep the ever-growing pile inside of your house until the next pick-up day for that category, which can be up to a month for more obscure types.
To help any confused citizens, the Yokohama City Recycling and Environmental Bureau recently released an app called “Iio” (pronounced “ee-oh”), a chatbot that tells you how to deal with certain types of garbage. For example, if you ask it about “glass bottles,” it would tell you when, where, and how to put them out for collecting.
But things took an interesting turn when people started asking Iio how to deal with unconventional things they wanted to “throw away.” Take a look:
▼ “When I asked the Yokohama City Garbage Collection Bureau about how to
get rid of garbage, it gave me such an accurate answer!” (translation below)
マーン🍦ダイエッ…… (@MuuMann) August 14, 2017
Iio: Hello, I am Iio.
Iio: If you tell me the name of the garbage you want to get rid of, I can tell you how to get rid of it. For example, if you want to know about fees for oversized garbage, ask me about, for instance, “bicycle removal fees.”
Iio: Really!! The [existential French playwright] Armand Salacrou once said: “Marriage is the lack of judgment, divorce the lack of patience, and remarriage the lack of memory.” Maybe you should work on improving your patience?
Yeowch! Iio the garbage-helper chatbot is throwing some seriously classy shade right there. Most chatbots usually just spit out “I’m sorry I didn’t understand what you said” when the user asks them something out of the ordinary. But Iio’s programmers went out of their way to give this wand-waving rabbit quite the personality.
Here’s some more of Iio’s responses: (translations below)
節子 (@MuuMann) August 14, 2017
Iio: Do you really want to throw that away? Snoopy once said: “If you think about something at three o’clock in the morning and then again at noon the next day, you get different answers.” Sleep on it today, and then see what you think tomorrow.
ファビュラスぞんびちゃん (@znbchan) August 15, 2017
Iio: That might go against the laws dealing with the destruction and damage of currency, so don’t throw that out.
たまきゅー (@chokutokuumeda) August 15, 2017
Me: My life
Iio: I don’t understand your question. Sorry. Either ask something else, or choose one of the items below: 1. Metals, 2. Plastics, 3. Wood, 4. Broken Objects, 5. Paper, 6. Cloth, 7. I Don’t Know.
Well it seems as though even Iio’s seemingly-endless wisdom about life and laws has a limit, but just for fun here’re some more of its responses to other questions:
Iio: The American psychologist Barbara De Angelis once said: “You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back love.”
Iio: In Don Quixote, Cervantes said: “It is better to have great hopes than dull riches.” You should ask yourself again what your hopes are.
Iio: Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “Always make room in your heart for dreams.” If you’re throwing away a dream to make room for another, then that’s okay.
Iio: The Film Director Woody Allen once said: “To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving.”
Iio’s philosophical advice game is on point, having a perfect response for just about everything. Now we’re just wondering how long it will take before it starts talking about anime and hay fever like Microsoft’s Japanese A.I. chatbot….