We will eventually need to come to terms with the fact that someday in the future we'll live among actual sentient-type robots. And by "live among," we mean "obey." While that day may be far off, even now, from the ones driving our cars to those hitchhiking among us, robots in everyday life are becoming the norm. We're still working out the kinks of this new symbiotic relationship, and unfortunately we have already gotten a glimpse of how it can go terribly wrong. This summer, a recently installed automotive assembly line robot grabbed a 22-year-old contractor and crushed him to death against a metal plate.
While a few were quick to point out that death by robot is "relatively common" and not much to be concerned about, that didn't stop the rest of the Internet from salivating over the thought of an imminent robot uprising. To add to the frenzy, someone named Sarah O'Connor tweeted the news:
... sending Terminator fans and robot-apocalypse hopefuls to speculate that this could be the start of "IT." Because sometimes, the Internet can be a festering puddle of stupid.
Just as the robot-uprising memes were dying down, VW found themselves at the center of another technology-related scandal. It turned out that many of their vehicles sold in the U.S. were equipped with "defeat device" software that could detect when emissions tests were taking place and allowed changes in performance to rig results. That's right, the car you drive might be better at cheating on tests than your soft, inferior human brain.
After being called out by the EPA, Volkswagen admitted to cheating on emissions tests, which in turn opened up worldwide inquiries into the validity of their emission standards. I guess we could try to make a funny Minion meme out of that, but caring about the environment for longer than a day gets super boring. Plus, we'll probably eventually come up with some robot that eats up all the carbon monoxide. We just have to hope we can keep it on our side.
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