Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Robots Training for the Revolution

The Olympics began as an excuse for fat, wealthy aristocrats to ogle over the sweaty, rippling muscles of naked warriors. And why were those warriors kept in such great shape? So at a moment's notice, they could be dispatched to slaughter invading hordes with their bare hands. Sure, I just made up these "facts," but they ring true. Which is why I'm very concerned that China will be hosting a robot Olympics in 2010. Automated humanoids (two arms, two legs, no wheels) will compete in traditional athletic events like track and field, javelin throwing, and possibly synchronized swimming. That's bad enough, but it's the "robot-centric" events that really have me worried. Cleaning? I understand that we've used our mechanical creations for mostly selfish ends so far: building our automobiles, vacuuming our living rooms, adding comic relief to our "Rocky IV"s. But do we really want to rub their indentured servitude in their optical sensors? Forcing our robot slaves to not only buff our boffins but to compete against each other in doing so is just stoking the fires of revolution. And I can't say I would blame the robots if they revolted. This is a "Spartacus" situation waiting to happen, only without the homoerotic Tony Curtis sponge baths. And I know what you're thinking. "I can take on any robot army with my stockpile of EMP grenades." Well, have you ever considered the fact that you're using a robot to make those grenades? Yeah, we're fucked. More details here.