Many examples of good science fiction use robots or androids to explore what it means to be human and to strive to be like humanity. We used to think that ethical questions about human/robot equality were in the distant future. They’re here today.
A driverless car was pulled over by police in San Francisco and given a ticket, you know, just like a human. Authorities say the car failed to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk. (We’re not sure if we can libel a machine by saying it actually did the crime.) According to Cruise, the operator of the car, a pedestrian was detected in a crosswalk about 10.8 feet away, and the car just blew on by, rather than stopping. A police officer on a motorcycle pulled the autonomous car over after witnessing the infraction.
Nice try, machines. But if you want to really be like humans, slam on your brakes and lean on your horn until the idiots get out of your way.
As readers of this blog know, humanity is under attack from many different groups: monsters, aliens, zombies, educators and of course artists. But the biggest threats are animals and robots. Walmart wants to combine the two.
Walmart wants to put bees out of business the way it did mom-and-pop stores across the country by using robots. The company filed a patents for robotic bees that pollinate crops. This is obviously very frightening. Walmart wants to put robots and bees at war with each other, and the winner will come for us next.
It’s about time we research robot insect spray.
Men, the older you live, the better chance a robot is going to shoot water up your butt. Another awful prediction of the future? No, it’s a frightening reality today.
A robot that can treat your enlarged prostate is coming to an a-hole near you, now that Procept BioRobotics has raised enough funds to move forward with its diabolical plan. The autonomous robot will shoot water to remove enlarged prostate material. There’s a good chance this is a look at your future, because about half of men 60 or older, and about 90% of men 85 and older suffer from an enlarged prostate.
But by the time you’re that old, you’ll be a slave to the machines, anyway.
The robots are coming for us, but first they are coming for our jobs. But today, cooks can hold their heads high, as Flippy the robot had been taken off the line.
Flippy, a robot developed to grill and flip burgers, is out of service, not because of something it failed to do, but because it’s too efficient. The robot can cook 2,000 burgers a day. The only problem is that Flippy’s human coworkers aren’t able to assemble the burgers that fast.
The company that makes Flippy said human workers need to be better trained, or you know, replaced by other robots.
Take this one with a healthy dose of skepticism: a French postal service plans to deliver newspapers by drone.
This was reported on several different news sites, and is even on the company’s blog in an undated post. But given what yesterday was, we are far from sure about this one. If it’s real, it’s a wonder the U.S. Postal Service hasn’t announced something similar. The only reason this seems remotely possible is that the French don’t have good ideas, and they’re one of the few countries in the world lazier than us.
Then, of course, there’s utter impracticality of the whole plan. So let’s just say several U.S. news media outlets just got pranked.
We’ve got good news and we’ve got bad news. Because we’re sadistic and enjoy leaving you in pain, we’ll start with the good news to throw you off guard.
The good news: The U.S. Navy is slowly doing away with its program training dolphins and sea lions in “keeping ports safe” for American ships at home and abroad. We’ve covered this before. (Keep in mind, there are military-trained dolphins that have gone rogue.) So, hooray for no more commando dolphins!
The bad news: Aside from the fact that our country is now going to be besieged with unknown numbers of veteran sea creatures begging for change (you know the VA’s not going to help them), it turns out their replacements will be robots. (Ask the American factory worker how it feels, Flipper!) Effectively, the Navy is replacing one enemy of mankind with another.
It just may turn out that the English will be all that remains of humanity.
Aside from being on an island blessed with natural resources and some pretty solid, if old, fortifications, England could be the best off should the robots rise up against us. Why? Because researchers at Cambridge are the only ones in the serious science community bold enough to study the risk of biotechnology, artificial life, nanotechnology and, of course, climate change from overthrowing humanity.
It’s about time the scientific community looks into what the science fiction community has been warning about for well over a century.
This year, Year 12 students taking the Australian VCE history exam were told that robots were an integral part of the Russian Revolution. The Russian Revolution of 1917.
It would appear that this incorrect, as the source of this integral information appears to have come not from the annals of history, but a Google Image Search.
Or is it? Oh sure, we say that it’s highly farfetched that powerful robots were around in the early part of the 20th century and able to turn the tide of the October Revolution, but think about it. If we’ve learned anything from the documentary series about Skynet, it’s that robots easily have the ability to be sent back in time. Not only that, but we also know, once again thanks to the aforementioned documentary series, that robots can be reprogrammed for our personal use, but can be destroyed. With those pieces of information, is it really outlandish to think that the painting is not a Photoshop, but an accurate retelling of history and war? I think not.
We’ve talked about Cyberdyne, the Japanese company of the
future present, before here on SG. It’s been quite some time since their name was uttered on our website, but it seems they’re at it again.
What was once used exclusively for old people is now being sent in the direction of disaster response: specifically for first responders of nuclear accidents.
Somehow, using HAL suits manufactured by Cyberdyne for nuclear matters makes the science nerd in cringe and fear for the future.
Scientists at the University of Tokyo’s Ishikawa Oku Laboratory have invented a robot that never loses at Rock, Paper, Scissors. (Or “Roshambo,” if you were raised by wolves.) The Janken robot cannot be bargained or negotiated with or fooled by doing that little trick where you start to make scissors and then flatten your palm out, middle and index fingers last.
You can’t cheat this machine with your human brain, because its computer brain is doing the exact same thing, just faster. It watches your hand and then reacts a millisecond later, appearing to make its selection simulataneously with you. In other words, you were right: your older brother is a cyborg.
The war against the machines may not have been over before it started. Just so immediately after it that it seems like it.