The Singularity Is Near! (The Apocolypse Shortly Thereafter)

i-75fa6f7cebb4145668724f37f5a52b36-steve_icon_medium.jpgRev 1:16 And the robot spoke onto him "Nice Weather Today Sir" and out of his hand went a semi-automatic .22 rifle.

Rev 1:17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
Rev 1:18 I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Rev 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

i-5d79438997c08e8b3c8c29d3fedc8dd9-simpsons-theendisnear.jpgSee even the bible is foretelling the end of days when a computer offers small talk and then kills a man.

Ok.. maybe I'm being a little silly... but two news stories came up about robots in the last couple days that seemed to fit together in a strange way.

According to fox news (you don't know how much it pains me to use them as a source):

An 81-year-old Australian man has shot himself dead with an elaborate suicide robot built using plans he downloaded from the Internet.

The Gold Coast man, who lived alone, left notes of his plans and thoughts as he struggled to come to terms with demands by interstate relatives that he move out his home and into care.

He spent hours searching the Internet for a way to kill himself, downloaded what he needed and then built a complex machine that would remotely fire a gun.

He set the device up in his driveway about 7 a.m. Wednesday, placed himself in front of it and set it in motion.

His notes explained that he chose the driveway as he knew there were tradesmen working next door who would find his body. The plan worked as the workmen heard the gunshots and ran to investigate.

The machine was attached to a .22 semi-automatic pistol loaded with four bullets.

It was able to fire multiple shots into the man's head after he activated it.

I wonder.... did the robot offer small talk before it shot the guy? Evidently people prefer robots who offer pleasantries to their victims. According to engadget:

researchers from Japan have found that people are more accepting of robots if they engage in a little small talk during conversations, as opposed to leaving unnerving silences that make folks unclear of their intentions. The researchers also found that of the 38 people surveyed, most were willing to accept delays in responses of one or two seconds, but that they much preferred if the robot threw in a "well" or "er" to fill the gap if it was taking any longer for them to muster up an answer.

I don't know about you but I'm looking forward to our polite killer robot overlords.

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I wonder.... did the robot offer small talk before it shot the guy?

At the very least, you know how to cap off a sad story in very poor taste.

By Scott Belyea (not verified) on 21 Mar 2008 #permalink

For some serious man/machine interface, followed by some uncanny-valley-inducing creepiness, here are the following:

http://grinding.be/2008/03/20/kevin-warwicks-lift08-presentation

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4476913308646425612&hl=en

http://grinding.be/2008/03/19/boston-dynamics-big-dog-another-part-of-t…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1czBcnX1Ww

Singularity (otherwise known in some circles as "Nerd Rapture") talk notwithstanding, there are some serious considerations in the speed at which we're combining our operations with integrated machinery.

Which is not to say that i don't believe in Nerd Rapture (or that there might be some humourous connection between it, the Apocalypse and some other millennial thought), only to say that I think there maybe needs to be some different ways of thinking about it.

But mainly I thought you should see those videos...