Just when SpaceX was making me feel a little better about humanity’s chances at surviving an apocalypse, Boston Dynamics has to go and remind me how vulnerable we still are. In case you missed it, they just taught their dog robot how to open doors. Yay.
I’m all for technological innovation (definitely not a luddite here), but this GIF does make me a little nervous, especially after watching Black Mirror’s “Metalhead” episode. (Shudder.) This is Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini robo-dog. It was cute at first, loading dishwashers and such. Then it was given a cute yellow paintjob. But after Boston Dynamics was sold by Google to Japan, it’s now doing things like unlocking doors.
This scared me a bit. I mean, I was just feeling better after SpaceX launched the Falcon Heavy and a red Tesla into a heliocentric orbit, the first step toward helping us colonize Mars and eventually give humanity a second shot if Earth is hit by an asteroid. But I guess now SpaceX is just giving us a second shot in case we’re overrun by robots that can open doors and reach us anywhere.
Seriously, have you watched Metalhead? Because THIS IS METALHEAD.
Comments on YouTube include: “Today they open doors, tomorrow they will shoot us like ducks…” and “Did they just…communicate? Great, soon we’ll have armies of these functioning as one hive mind, opening doors for people across the globe.”
Good point. DID THEY JUST COMMUNICATE?
Some people are more hopeful about it:
that boston dynamics robot takes forever to open a door, we're going to be fine.
— Matthew Zeitlin (@MattZeitlin) February 12, 2018
But robots are all about improving themselves over time, so that’s not making me feel much better.
Anyway, you might want to get a job at SpaceX and help get this Mars thing off the ground. Just saying.