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Truth Is, Indeed, Stranger Than Fiction

This is a story pregnant with transition, which is to say, a story of you sliding down a frictionless slippery slope into the gaping maw of Evil Robot Doom. Today, the project referenced below, is just the soldier's "little buddy", doing the "dirty work". Tomorrow, little buddy will have left the proverbial nest, the nest that is the source of all human morality and discernment, and will be operating with impunity and cruel discernment at and around your, heretofore monster-less, locale.

DARPA (a.k.a. Evil Robot Nursery) plans to give you all that you can handle along these lines; like drinking from a fire hydrant of unrelenting gore and disbelief.

In the coming days of horror and regret, surely you're not going to have the gall to deny that we warned you...


Get some!Get some!

"...According to the agency, "the Avatar program will develop interfaces and algorithms to enable a soldier to effectively partner with a semi-autonomous bi-pedal machine and allow it to act as the soldier's surrogate."

These robots should be smart and agile enough to do the dirty work of war, Darpa notes. That includes the "room clearing, sentry control [and] combat casualty recovery." And all at the bidding of their human partner. [ERN - But of course! What could possibly go wrong...]"


Full Story @ io9

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

You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't extract biologically viable brain cells from your friend's brain, culture them, and use them as a neural network to control an operationally adaptive Evil Robot, now can you?

There are however many of the staff of University of Reading UK, Cybernetics Research Group, who can, and are actually hell bent for leather on the whole issue. This is actually a delightful treatise on rat brain co-option, though we expect that you can read the writing (hastliy scrawled in human blood) on the wall with this one, can you not?

If this doesn't give you the absolutely creeping heebie-jeebies, you need to head on down to the Soul Station and top off your tank...


"...Led by divisive part-human cyberneticist Kevin Warwick, the scientists extracted brain cells from the rats, cultured them, and then used them as a guidance control circuit. Electrical impulses go in, and the responses that come out then drive the device's wheels. The cells are living -- they can form new connections -- meaning that the robots can learn. "


Full Story @ Wired.co.uk (Pip, Pip, Cheerio!)

Think The Jobs Market Is Bad Now? You Don't Know The Half Of It...

In addition to wanting to squeeze the very bile from your gall bladder, it would seem that the Evil Robot hoards would also like to rudely depose you from your place of work as well. Now that is just rude.

Let us clue you in to a portion of the "Master Plan". The, ironically, weak-minded "oligarchical" class(es) seem to truly believe that the proliferating horde of Evil Robots are in their service. This is a drastic (and will eventually be a, poignantly humorous, from our perspective at least) misconception.

They further this mistaken assumption in a theoretical strategic conception, that goes something like this:

"Well, if we can force a thinly veiled, 21st Century-clad, version of austerity and indentured
servitude upon the 'unwashed masses', we can take the collective drops of blood that we can
squeeze from their grimy little stones, and build our dream system of highly automated, self-
serving hegemony. 

Once We've squeezed every ounce of vibrant fluid from the peasant stock, our shiny new workforce
of automatons will have been completed and will neatly replace the 'meat space' workforce
entirely, which can then be 'liquidated'; having served its final purpose."

This is, of course, a delusion of Neronic proportions, and they themselves, will also be turned upon by their own metallic horde, in an artificially intelligent 'Night of the Long Knives', thus our humorous outlook on this highly probable event.

In a subtle prologue to this comedy of errors, please have a read of this delightful overture that Foxconn will be making to its staff in the not so distant future.


The new, highly functional, pink slip (no you can't clean out your desk...)The new, highly functional, pink slip (no you can't clean out your desk...)

"Taiwanese technology giant Foxconn will replace some of its workers with 1 million robots in three years to cut rising labor expenses and improve efficiency, said Terry Gou, founder and chairman of the company, late Friday.

The robots will be used to do simple and routine work such as spraying, welding and assembling which are now mainly conducted by workers, said Gou at a workers

The "Do it Yourself Terminator". Well, duh...

One foot follows the other, right unto the very precipice of doom. The wide proliferation of increasingly complex and increasingly inexpensive computational devices will, eventually, become a problem. That is our essential thesis here.

Predator-type drones, and other such highly mobile machine entities, are no longer the purview of only defense contractors and fabulously wealthy engineering firms. Please have a look at the following article.


"In the latest installment of the Butterfly Effect: Predator drones are just the start of unmanned, autonomous warfare technology. But as the tech becomes more democratized and more deadly, what happens when anyone can assemble an army of killing machines?"


Full Story @ Fast Company (Kudos, by the way...)

What You Can Expect...

One conclusion is certainly forgone, The Evil Robots will have on their side, in the fearsome coming battle, that prized tactical advantage of old, "The Element of Surprise". Industries, homes, agencies and organizations will, in their naivety, allow the android butlers, robotic window washers, and other misbegotten enemy actors into their midst, only to discover, too late, the folly of their ways.

So, in the interest of "front-loading" as much common sense as possible into the subconscious [ERN - yes, you are being programmed, but it's all in the interest of improving your eventual chances of survival], we would like to present this dark parable, masterfully created by Ruairi Robinson, whom we are declaring as an "ERN Film Auteur".

NOTE: This film is pretty "dark", and therefore, not suitable for youngsters below a certain age (or perhaps even certain adults of a "delicate" persuasion), as described by what methods you, personally, use to raise your youngsters; as, probably, ERN itself is not ["child" suitable], generally...

Also, this video is high quality, and around 12 mins. long. So, for smooth playback, you may want to briefly begin the video and then pause it, allowing it to buffer ahead quite a bit, perhaps all the way, before resuming play. That's a lot of information being crammed down your inter-tubes, during your priceless time, but worth it...




Whatever You Do, Do Not, Look At The Robot...

Many robots have various sorts of "visual" perception and detection sensors, many of which, in fact, are capable of operating well beyond the human visual range, into the ultraviolet, infrared, etc. This is unsettling enough, but it seems that these fearsome golems of silicon and wire will soon be outfitted with the ability to detect even the visual attention that we, even casually, pay to them.

So, when that first bead of nervous sweat rolls down your forehead, and your darting eyes begin to look for the nearest avenue of escape, the Evil Robot will have already deduced what it will need to do to make you into it's next portion of "people jerky" [ERN - It is strongly conjectured by us that many types of Evil Robot will, eventually, be configured to run on "people jerky", as a high energy, easily obtainable, fuel source "in the field". It just makes good sense - see our previous report(s) here]. Enter, "The Robot Simon"



Distance to target : 4.7 meters; Ambient Target Temperature: 37 degrees celsius; Jerky Extractor: ARMED...Distance to target : 4.7 meters; Ambient Target Temperature: 37 degrees celsius; Jerky Extractor: ARMED...

The banal robot stare of instant recognition...of your vitals...The banal robot stare of instant recognition...of your vitals...


"Getting someone's attention can be easy with a loud noise or a shout, but what if the situation calls for a little more tact? How can a robot use subtle cues to attract a human's notice and tell when it has captured it [ERN - and, in turn, capture the human itself, in a slightly undersized cage, and prepare it for jerky production]? In a preliminary study, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found that they can program a robot to understand when it gains a human's attention and when it falls short."


Full Story @ Robotics Trends

The Worms Crawl In, The Worms Crawl Out...

Various engineers around the world are working at nanotechnological scales. As this new vista of Evil Robotics takes increasingly coherent shape, it will give the acolytes an entirely new toolbox, with which to assail a choice strategic weakness of organic-y, squishy, humanity; "machine-like" interactions on the cellular-nervous level.

Here is a, small, insight into what fresh worries these technologies may visit on your neighborhood or, perhaps, your brain. Check out what the voracious nanomaterials team, indeed, The Mighty Wolverines, of the University of Michigan Ann Arbor, are accomplishing, chewing up mouse nerve cells and nanotubes, just as courageously as their football team chews up the gridiron.



Apples and OrangesApples and Oranges


"Nerve-cell tendrils readily thread their way through tiny semiconductor tubes, researchers find, forming a crisscrossed network like vines twining toward the sun [ERN - the fabled "Dark Sun" of Evil Robot mythology and lore...]. The discovery that offshoots from nascent mouse nerve cells explore the specially designed tubes could lead to tricks for studying nervous system diseases or testing the effects of potential drugs. Such a system may even bring researchers closer to brain-computer interfaces that seamlessly integrate artificial limbs or other prosthetic devices [ERN - e.g., Shoulder-mounted gatling lasers]."


"Brain-Tech Ramen" , with extra flavor packets..."Brain-Tech Ramen" , with extra flavor packets...


"...'They [mouse nerve cells] seem to like the tubes [ERN - Do they now?],' says biomedical engineer Justin Williams, who led the research. The approach offers a way to create elaborate networks with precise geometries, says Williams. 'Neurons left to their own devices will kind of glom on to one another or connect randomly to other cells, neither of which is a good model for how neurons work.' "


Full Story @ Wired Science

Creepy Is As Creepy Does

"Oh, it's so life-like!", can be such a complimentary refrain when applied to, say, a particularly well done painting or sculpture. In the world of Evil Robotics however, not so much so. How will you be able to tell, in the not so far future, when you look over your shoulder, that the unassuming form that you see behind you on the street or, heaven forbid, in your bedroom, is actually a human being and not an entirely other sort of construct?

Well, it should go without saying that, as the cruel mimicry of humans by robotic devices of an, ultimately, evil nature, come to surround us in our everyday lives, you won't be able to tell whether it is or not. So, when your viscera ecstatically coat the nearby surfaces, and you slip into shock, you'll only be certain after the fact. A result that mightily pleases the Evil Robot.

We therefore submit, for your perusal, a particularly unsettling example of this coming phenomenon embodied by the, exceptionally creepy, "Geminoid DK" [ERN - Spread as you will Evil Robot, spread as you will...] android prototype...


Googley-Moogley!Googley-Moogley!

Oh Brother Where Art Thou? [Behind You...With An Icepick...]Oh Brother Where Art Thou? [Behind You...With An Icepick...]

Kommen Sie!!!Kommen Sie!!!

Ou est L'Abattoir?Ou est L'Abattoir?



"Okay, I admit it... I found myself wondering whether this was in fact a real robot, or actually a person pretending to be a robot or even a fake robot.

It's not a fake. This is the latest iteration of Geminoid series of ultra-realistic androids, from Kokoro and Hiroshi Ishiguro. Specifically, this is Geminoid DK, which was constructed to look exactly like Associate Professor Henrik Scharfe of Aalborg University in Denmark."


Full Story @ IEEE Spectrum - Automatons Blog


Upward Mobility

The ability to evade danger is a comforting thought; see the danger, assess the danger, high-tail it in the opposite direction from the danger. It sounds so natural, you know, like "fight or flight". It seems we will have to begin considering the "fight" option much more closely now.

Our good friends at DARPA and, a consummate favorite in Evil Robot development, Boston Dynamics, are parlaying their embarrassing amounts of funding and rigorous intellectual property assets to make sure that even the most fleet of foot rebel gets caught up to and receives their Evil Robot comeuppance!

I Can Haz Human Flesh?I Can Haz Human Flesh?


Steady holding up the Evil Robot WorldSteady holding up the Evil Robot World



"It would be scary to be chased by a military robot. It would also be scary to be chased by a cheetah. So, imagine what it would be like to have a military robotic cheetah sprinting after you. Such a scenario could one day be possible, as robotics company Boston Dynamics recently announced that America's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded it a contract to design and build such a ... critter. The contract also includes the creation of an agile, bipedal humanoid robot. It's hard to say which one might ultimately be creepier."


Full Story @ Gizmag


"In The Navy"

Here is a jazzy little number from Lurch, our ERN Correspondent "in the field".

Now, for the most part, The Evil Robot Acolytes (Those sycophantic and craven souls who nurture the Evil Robots into being) have to labor hard and hot hours in their various dungeon-like research laboratories, damp, creepy garage spaces, sullen and ill fated industrial parks, etc., to bring forth the technotronic misfortunes that will one day spell our collective doom. There is a trend however which forebodes an even darker day, a darker day to which Evil Robot Acolytes look forward, like an arch-mechanical sort of...Anti-Christmas.

This "Dark Festivus" of the not too distant future will come about when that milestone of horror, the day when Evil Robots can produce and replicate themselves without the aid of humankind, and finally darken the skies above us, and poison the sweet waters below with the bitter effulgence of their self-production.

If you guessed that the hard won tax dollar chickens that you have provided (assuming you have not already been displaced in the flagging human workforce by an Evil Robot) to DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - ironically, the guys who, largely, in their prior incarnation, brought you The Internet itself) might somehow be coming home to roost, fitfully, as Evil Robots; rest assured, you are correct. Along with the pluck, might, and considerable intelligence, of the United States Navy (see aforementioned "chicken-y" tax dollars) they will see that dark celebration realized! One way, or another...



"Whenever the military rolls out a new robot program, folks like to joke about SkyNet or the Rise of the Machines. But this time, the military really is starting to venture into robot-apocalypse territory: swarms of little semi-autonomous machines that can team up to manufacture complex objects (including, presumably, more robots).

That

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