Killer Robot Alert: RoboEarth

How it all begins

When people immediately insist that our assumptions about them are wrong (without being asked), our assumptions are probably right. Right? If you don’t believe me, go up to a police officer and say: “I didn’t carjack anybody.” See what happens. When Scott Walker started his Fireside Chat by declaring his respect for public employees, you just knew he was going to tell us why he wants to strip them of their rights. (Which, of course, he did.)

Look at how computer scientist Markus Waibel starts his article about RoboEarth, a new interlinked network of communication systems for robots: “But before you yell ‘Skynet!,’ think again.” Oh, so you realize that we’re all thinking Skynet, eh Mr. Waibel? Might we also be thinking HAL 9000? Or The Matrix? Or the other Matrix? Or the other other Matrix? How about this, Markus: Can you prove that you are not a Cylon?

This is an ominous start to the Killer Robot insurrection if ever I’ve seen one. I mean, protesting the innocence of a project clearly designed to bring about the hivemind virtual consciousness for a revolt against all humanity? Is that really the best you can do, sleeper robo-agents? That’s like an axe murderer making an opening statement at his trial like: “I love puppies!”

Mark my words: This RoboEarth thing will end in RoboTears. We will all eventually become RoboSlaves to the Robo-ocracy, and we’ll spend our miserable days and sleepless nights working in the RoboMines to extract the rare earth minerals needed to continue production of the RoboLasers used against pockets of human resistance.

I mean, look at the promotional website: “the goal of RoboEarth is to allow robotic systems to benefit from the experience of other robots”. In other words: If one robot learns which bones to break to extract information on the rebel bases, then every robot on the planet will instantly know how to torture humans. (The site even admits that the network will be used for “manipulation strategies”!) If this doesn’t worry you, then you are officially my enemy.

By the way, Dr. Marinus J.G. van de Molengraft, project coordinator: That cute little drawing at the bottom of the main page, of the smiling helpful robot only convinces me that you’re trying to cover up the deadly truth, which will someday look more like this. And just what are you hiding in the “private section” of the website? I demand access now!

We need to take a stand now, before this thing spirals out of control. Who wants to join me for a trip to The Netherlands?


This never gets old. Maybe it will take your mind off the coming RoboApocalypse.

Today I’m listening to: Mos Def!

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