The Seven Technologies That Make the Robot Apocalypse Inevitable
3. They Can Eat Us
Source: Colin Anderson/Photographyer's Choice/Getty Images
Thanks to DARPA, we've got the EATR, the Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot! The idea is that EATR, which happens to have an enormous robot arm because apparently a robot that eats wasn't nearly scary enough, will roam around independently in the countryside as "military support". That is, they're going to give this thing guns to shoot terrorists, dump their corpses in its biological digestion tanks, and use that power to shoot more terrorists.
Our only hope is to give EATR the emotion chip, preloaded with eating disorders. Anorexia might be our only defense against the flesh-eating metal monsters of tomorrow.
2. Japan is Building Them a Moonbase
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As bad as the robot attack will be, on the bright side, at least they're accessible. Sure, robots can go where we can't, but it's not like they could relocate the central robot database to outer space or something. Just the moon. Thanks to, who else, Japan.
The Japanese have plans in place to have a fully functional robot moonbase up and running by 2020. The idea is to enormous, tread-using ‘bots on the moon to survey it, and construct a perfectly innocent little unmanned base for them to hang out in and recharge. That the robots will dig into the moon, hardening it against nuclear attack, is completely a coincidence.
Good work, Japan. Just...great job.
1. They're Teaching Themselves to Use Bows, Arrows, and Other Handheld Weapons
Our one consolation with the robots is that unlike them, we're creative. Our monkey brains can conceive of, well, mostly ridiculous things. The author of this article spent all day trying to design a microwave that plays death metal instead of whirring and makes everything put into it taste like steak. In my defense, steak plus bacon (steacon) is absolutely delicious. But the thing is, we learn from our mistakes, especially if they set us on fire. Robots don't.
Or they didn't, anyway. The Italian Institute of Technology took away that little advantage with the deceptively adorable iCub, part of their Augmented Reward Chained Regression program. If you think that doesn't sound good, well, it gets worse.
The idea was to teach this robot archery. So, they programmed it to try, and keep trying until it got it right. Which it did. Then they moved it further away. And it got better. It learned how to get the force, angle and trajectory just right to land a bullseye on a target. And, unlike humans, it's simple for a robot to do that, over, and over, and over again.
So, basically, the Italians are well on their way to developing the first robot ninja. And then DARPA will buy it, give it a bunch of guns and a hankering for human flesh. After this happens, it'll wipe out a small country, enjoying the succulent flesh of humans and animals alike, before flying to its moonbase on a laser, building legions of other robot ninjas, teaching them unyielding hatred of the human race, and then sending back these angry, flesh-eating monsters to wipe us from the planet, leaving the globe a silent husk, voiced only by the rage of robots and the yipping of adorable little puppies as the robots chase them down to power their infernal needs.
And people are obsessed with zombies. Really, they need to stop worrying about such outlandish scenarios and get with the program.