Originally constructed in 1959, the nearly-lifelike automaton underwent a series of software upgrades and cosmetic improvements before entering an experimental political career in 1987. Photo: Heather (flickr).
With their creation now soundly rejected by the Canadian public, the team behind the long-suspected Harperbot male simulant project are “owning up and calling it a day.”
“Despite years of criticism over his ‘wooden’ mannerisms, and particularly the smile that we never quite perfected, we’re delighted that no-one could prove that he wasn’t real,” said Truman Shelton, lead developer. “In fact, the more seemingly insane he appeared with his memory and logic functions being pushed to the hardware’s absolute limit, the more believable he became.”
In answer to one of the Canadian public’s oldest questions, Shelton confirmed that Laureen Teskey, a struggling actress, was hired to add realism to the ruse, though in later years she found it difficult to live with the Harper simulant, and eventually began spending increased periods of time living in hotels and pursuing lesbian relationships.
“We’re in talks now again with SpaceX, MarsOne, and other groups interested in licensing our technology,” Truman added. “The Canadian Space Agency should really contact us, too. Our Canadarm prototype can build a house of cards from the discard pile while playing Extreme Uno.”