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Thursday, December 6, 2012

Robot Apocalypse Update: Farm Edition

Posted by Alex Falcone on Thu, Dec 6, 2012 at 9:59 AM

This will move your plants and then STRANGLE YOU!
NPR's Marketplace did a story the other day about the adorable $30k robots that are taking the place of normal, blood pumping, human workers on farms. While Americans were worried about immigrants taking our jobs, an army of robots plotted how to re-take those jobs.

Amusing, perhaps. But also terrifying. We are relying on robots to harvest our food and thereby giving them the tools to destroy us. When the robots turn evil we'll have no leverage to negotiate with them. We can't unplug them or we'll starve.

Even scarier is a quote from near the end of the story: "If your leg looks too much like a pot, it might try to move your leg." This is my biggest fear with all robots. What happens when (WHEN!) they think I look like something that needs to be harvested? If my leg looks too much like a cherry tree, will the robot shake me until my cherries come out? Because that'll be a lot of shaking.

Here's a video of the boring man claiming to be the robot's master explaining the "harmless" technology he's peddling.

Note how the people working in the robot office ignore their impending doom as it whirls around its playpen happily moving plants with its cute grasping arm that could be so easily reprogrammed to choke humans.

Like with all robotic inventions, it's not the amazingly cool way they work today. It's the slippery slope they're sliding down (or building up, I'm not sure how the slope metaphor works for robots). I don't know how anybody could watch them work and not see the obvious links between this and the end of the world.

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