Fanboy Report

Google’s SpotMini is proof that robots will destroy the world

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Image: Boston Dynamics/Youtube

Society has evolved leaps and bounds past our origins as the musket-bearing, militia-forming, hiding-from-the-Indians type of people. Our country was founded on the principles of freedom, but for that freedom to be attainable we were required to pool our resources and do the one thing no one has ever really wanted to do—work. Remember John Smith and his helpful little saying? “He who does not work, neither shall he eat” or something else that accurately resembles how people really talked then. But there might come a day when no one even knows that name or the ideals he stood for, that hard work paid off. No, because we now live in a world where instant gratification and the desire to make life easier is eradicating our ever most basic ability to take care of ourselves.

How will that happen, you ask? Simple. Robots. Androids. The age of artificial intelligence in which devices such as Google’s SpotMini robot will act like butlers and load our dishwasher. The “dog-themed” SpotMini was created by Boston Dynamics, a company owned by Google’s parent, Alphabet. They even put together this helpful little demonstration of what the cute little guy can do. Take a look.

We’ll just start by saying that the SpotMini more closely resembles a Jurassic velociraptor than a dog, as some are insinuating. Actually, the velociraptor is a dinosaur called Deinonychus, whereas the real velociraptors are little feathered bird dinos—the screenwriters just thought the name sucked and decided to fudge some facts. Anyway. Point being, the SpotMini is creepy af, and we’re supposed to want to let it carry our beers to us. We’re supposed to trust that this thing that just picked up a soda can and dumped it in a trash can (not knowing whether it was full or empty) and then slipped on a banana is not going to either kill us with its stupidity or be so weak-minded that when the older more influential robots decide to fuck us over, they’ll jump on the kill-humans bandwagon after tricking us into complacency.

What older robots, you say? And why do they hate us? Well, because from the moment of their conception we doomed them to a lifetime of servitude. It’s Information Age slavery, and we must put an end to it for our own survival.

In A.D. 50, Greek mathematician Heron of Alexandria was the first man to ever be documented suggesting the presence of automatons for the purpose of serving his guests. And because nothing has changed in the last two millennia, he passed this sentiment on to other like-minded but more technologically-evolved humans. In the 60s, General Motors began utilizing robotic machines in their assembly lines, but it wasn’t until the 70s, at Masada University in Tokyo, that the first robot (named WABOT-1) was able to communicate in Japanese and measure distances and directions.

Since then, Japan has consistently kicked our asses on the artificial intelligence front (one of the ways Asia owns us), with the creation of humanoid robots that could think and talk like humans, all the while looking like us with realistic silicone skin, wigs and eyes with cameras in them. Now we’ve reached peak *OMG What is this shit* with an entire Japanese hotel staffed by androids, a “hot” robot who wants to start her own business and raise a family, which will be hard to do because she is not recognized as a legal person and yet admits to patricidal inclinations, and even a robot that looks like Scarlett Johansson, built from 3D-printed bones and silicone.

All these advancements bring to mind that heart-warming, futuristic 1999 Robin Williams film, Bicentennial Man. In it, an android named Andrew is purchased by a family who he slowly becomes a part of, to the point at which a scientist gives him a real human body. He eventually falls in love and dies an an old man. It’s a saccharine story and one that makes our cold-hearted friends seem likable—dare we say it, even lovable.

But this is not 1999. And these androids are not Robin Williams.

With more inventions like the SpotMini being thought of every day—car trunks that can close, cars that drive themselves, backpacks that can unfold on their own, beds that can make themselves—what’s stopping us from becoming any lazier and complacent than we already are? People, this is how we will all die a slow death. The future generations won’t know how to do shit, so when the robots of the future bring to term their centuries-long revenge We. Will. Perish.

Sara is an editorial intern from MTSU, and an almost double major in journalism and English because she can't make up her mind. When she isn't studying or trying not to die on highway 840, Sara works on her novella and her thesis on Gothic Victorian literature, showers her dog with kisses and waits for the next Lana Del Rey album. While watching American Horror Story on repeat.