You Can Get With This, Or You Can Get With That

What, actually, constitutes an Evil Robot Overlord era of domination? A question that, in our mutual human "fight or flight" instinct and, almost, constant state of adrenal fatigue ( duly warranted, we would argue - [ERN] - Note the Wikipedia article's blithe disregard of the validity of this, now, veritably ubiquitous condition ), begs to be addressed.

Well, we've given this question some thought, and, as we frequently express here, there is more than one way to skin a cat; a cat that is in this case, suspiciously human-like in almost every relevant respect.

As we, also frequently, point out here, on this frighteningly relevant blog, not all Evil Robotic schemes are purely contemporary. Some are eerily historical, others are "futuristic" beyond the imagination of the general populace. The point we are trying to make, and to get to stick in the collective craw, as it were, is that it is adequate vigilance, and little else, that will help you come to an understanding comprehensive enough to, truly, prepare you for what is at hand.

To wit, we are offering you this entertaining sampling of troubling technologies, courtesy of Popular Science Magazine. Take a close look at the array of anti-human weaponry that they catalogue here. Take further note of the possibility that these weapons, each and every one, might come into the future (current?) arsenal of artificially intelligent machines. Far fetched you say; not possible? Well, you won't find many naysayers on this end of the block; we can tell you that, without any hesitation whatsoever. You can get with this, or you can get with that...

"Cyborg animals, psychotropics and flying lasers are just some of the terrifying weapons government labs have cooked up over the years" [ERN - Indeed...with your taxpayer dollars, one might have hastened to add. Ahhh, The succulent flavor of evasion in PopSci's Evil Robot Journalism...]

Full Story @ PopSci (For shame, PopSci, for shame!)

An Evil Robot Case In Point

What with the imminent threat of being disembowelled, exploded, lased, and so forth by the rapidly increasing number of robots crawling, swimming and flying, like dark and stealthy raptors, around the planet, one tends to overlook some of the subtler points of how artificially intelligent devices might affect various outcomes.

There are many more clever vectors by which mankind can be undone. Take, for instance, the below story which describes a strong method of potential destruction. This particular example is of automated code breaking, but the increasing speed and facility with which machines will come to operate leaves open a very slippery slope toward dozens of potential pits into which we might fall. Being able to perform tireless, highly dexterous and computationally intense behaviours with very little, or eventually no, one presumes, errors can well, spell (at the incredible aforementioned speeds) a lot of trouble for our collective futures. This is a very tricky aspect of the threat at this point, but with a little imagination, we're sure that you can come to ever greater conclusions about how this might all go horribly off the proverbial rails like a crazy train.

"Justin Engler and Paul Vines will demo a robot called the Robotic Reconfigurable Button Basher (R2B2) at Defcon; it can work its way through every numeric screen-lock Android password in 19 hours. They built it for less than $200, including the 3D printed parts. It doesn't work on screen-patterns (they're working on that) nor on Ios devices (which exponentially increase the lockout times between unsuccessful password attempts). They're also whomping up new versions that can simulate screen-taps with electrodes, which will run much faster. They're also working on versions that can work against hotel-room safes, ATMs, and other PIN-pad devices. It's a good argument for a longer PIN (six-digit PINs take 80 days to crack), and for using robust and random PINs (26% of users use one of 20 PINs)."

Full Story @, The Mighty, Boing Boing

It's All Fun And Games, Until Somebody Gets Hurt

Well, the shenanigans continue apace and, I guess that it's appropriate that they should continue at the epicenter of shenanigans, San Diego Comic-Con. Adam Savage, of Myth-Busters fame, cozies right up and adjacent to a, truly, unholy creation currently termed only, "The Robot". He's beside himself with glee. We can only assume that he is even now being fitted for his own black robes and taking the solemn vows of the Evil Robot Acolyte.

This unit was created by WIRED Magazine in a mere 24 days. We would hope that we would not have to encourage you too strongly to extrapolate what sort of end product a sufficient amount of time and funding would produce along these same lines. Something, certainly, that would not give you the giggles...

We presume that there is a fleshy human within this particular model, but we will soon be rid of those entirely, eh?

Full Story @ WIRED Mag

Blitzkrieg, Indeed...

Your manufacturing job, your sense of safety, your sigmoid colon, and now, also, The Arts. These are just a few of the pieces of your contentedness that the infernal machines, now being formed, are going to begin to surgically remove from your zone of control.

To add insult to injury, it seems they will also be a shoe in for your local Battle of the Bands competition. Thought you had that covered, didn't you? Well, it would seem not. Check out the horrifying video below, brought to us by our intrepid reporter, Lurch, who himself is a musician of no small skill and directly faces obsolescence due to the burgeoning threat of Evil Robot Rock.

Joey rests uneasily in his grave, R.I.P. Joey, we're going to unplug these bastards for you.

Full story @ Slate

They're Going The Distance, They're Going For Speed...

As of this all comes to a head, it's going to become increasingly clear that some technological innovations are less meant for the uplifting of the "commonwealth", but rather, to put a silicone-sand bag onto the backs of all humankind and that bag will be very heavy indeed. They're going the distance...

Hear the craven, servo-driven, approach of doom...

"Robots are already stronger than humans, able to lift thousands of pounds at a time. In many ways, they're smarter than people, too; machines can perform millions of calculations per second, and even beat us at chess. But we could at least take solace in the fact that we could outrun our brawny, genius mechanical robot overlords. Until now, that is. A four-legged robot, funded by The Pentagon, has just run 28.3 miles per hour. That's faster than the fastest man's fastest time ever. Oh well, ruling the planet was fun while it lasted."

Full Story @ Wired - Danger Room [ERN - Indeed...]

One Evil Robotic Bird In The Hand, Is Worth Two Evil Robotic Birds In The Bush. On Second Thought...

Agility, precision, dexterity; these are all words which carry historically positive connotations. When applied to the forthcoming Dawn of Evil Robots however, they will definitely turn your lexicon on its head. Having become, generally, the apex predator of our planet, Homo Sapiens has kind of lost the flavor of what it might mean for these notions to not be soley ascribed to itself.

The fact is though, that we are, vigorously, in the process of creating machines that will not only inheret these qualities, but to a magnitude that has been heretofore unseen outside of nature. We will create a veritable minefield of devices, unto the thresholds of our very homes and, sadly, within them, of remarkably responsive and increasingly autonomous technologies, from which "escape" will take on an entirely more complex definition as well.

Have a look at this fine example from the energetic youths at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (keeping mysteriously mum on their website there, you'll notice...)

Don't Look Now, Seriously, Don't...

It's a little cumbersome and, perhaps, not the sort of thing that would immediately set you on edge. Once this sucker gets out of "alpha deveopment" though, we've no doubt that it, and systems like it, will evetually be bringing the creeping willies to you and yours very effectively.

It is always worth keeping in mind that every instantiation of bio-tracking, and "human-sensing" technology will build, cumulatively, on each prior innovation. When the day comes, and it will, when some company or other tries to sell you on the idea that some future itiration of a technology like this should be trusted to watch over your home or, heaven forbid, your kids, please resist abdicating your responsibilities to humanity.

"Not every robot is here to make our food, clean our floors or perform interstellar maintenance for us. Some automatons are there to simply be admired... or in the case of GIA (Gestural Interactive Automaton), to admire us. GIA's a robotic sculpture created by Daniel Jay Bertner that is essentially a projector, projection sphere and a webcam attached to a trio of servo-controlled articulating arms. A human face is projected on the sphere, which follows around folks who view it and changes its facial expression according to viewer reactions. Why? In order to "emulate and socially engage" them..." [ERN - Indeed...]

Full Story @ Engadget

What you can expect 1.2

As development in computer software continues apace and eventually culminates in The Singularity (or something painfully like it), the unaware are going to find themselves quite amazed by the occurance of increasingly uncanny interactions with and responses from the absoute glut of digital machines that now surround us.

It's one thing to say to onesself, "Aww, that's so neat", and entirely another when the interjection becomes something more like, "Holy creeping crap, how did this thing do that?!". If you've yet to have the hair on the back of your neck raised by an interaction like this; you won't have long to wait...

Here is a case in point...

Okay, it's my move. Oh wait...

"Computers have been beating humans at games for ages, that much is obvious. But a computer scientist from the Universite Paris Diderot in Paris, France has decided to change tack, moving away from complicated data sets, instead creating a vision-based system that can look at a game, learn it, and then play it by learning through "relational structures" instead of long formulae and a database of background knowledge. And it does it very, very well."

Full Story @ PopSci-Australia (bringin' the fear from down unda')

Making What Is Creepy, Yet Again, More Creepy

It's not our intention to suggest that "bosses" are, in general, "creepy". That's for you to decide. Only you really know where you're at. Our ERN Pelham Bay correspondent, Snackwrap though, does reveal a little of her own perspective in her latest report bringing to the fore the advent of the "Telerobotic Boss".

Looking over the shoulders of one's minions from afar is an ancient desire of bosses of all sorts and descriptions. Only now, in the bright hot light of the 21st Century, are the fevered dreams of micromanagers finally coming to their ultimate fruition. Whether or not employees will take it upon themselves to adorn the Telerobotic Boss with half-eaten donuts, "kick me" signs or what have you, just out of the visual range of the infernal machine, is anyone's guess. Though we'll take this oportunity to encourage that, at least until the Telerobotic Boss becomes equipped with antipersonnel devices, which will happen, so get your licks in now!

We'd like to impune Microsoft Corporation for it's lack of fundamental humanity in bringing this vicious technology to fruition, but hey, they're just doing their jobs, right? Well, you know what time it is... Do delight yourself with the Evil Robotic Acolyte rhetoric that they sprinkle throughout this piece; "Don't be afraid, yet" indeed...

Full Story, oddly enough, @ CNN Money

Stompy, Stomp, Stomp, Stomp

Well, it seems we are not going to have a lot of luck preventing ourselves from going down the gore-slicked luge course of Evil Robot domination. It seems like we're hardly going to even try...

A giant 4000 pound robot ride sounds like fun, doesn't it? Just try not to trample your fellow human beings during your exciting child-like adventure as, we heartliy assure you, "Stompy" surely will, once it's got a mind of its own. We'd like to warn you that this development is absolutely imminent. Yeah, but you don't want to hear about all of that ol' doom and gloom talk, do ya? Go ahead, enjoy!

Get Away From There Dan! For God's Sake, Get Away!Get Away From There Dan! For God's Sake, Get Away!

"Hopefully you have a big garage. This baby is 18 feet wide, 10 feet tall, weighs 4,000 pounds and will be powered by a 135-horsepower propane engine.

Considering the scale of this thing, it


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