21 February 2013

Running Robots: Just Say Hey, Like I Don't Know Man


I am sorry as I know that my decision may affect the livelihoods of some goodhearted, decent people, but I am going to have to ban all further research on running robots until I hear a good reason we need robots that can run. 

I've seen several movies with running robots; not one was a comedy, and although they generally ended happily enough for our heroes the humans, the carnage in the middle was off-putting to say the least.

The main application for running robots seems to be military, and this is precisely the reason the whole thing must be banned.  Is it not obvious that 'the elites' dream of creating robot armies so they can exercise their power more conveniently?  So why is any intelligent prole working toward the fulfillment of this dream?  Two obvious answers: money (I can live well doing this and possibly squirrel away enough to get on the other side of the fence when the robots are complete and programmed to wipe out the volkspeople), and it's an interesting problem to work on (I get to create and tinker with the coolest toys ever, my toy can smash and kill your toy and then you, etc).  Understandable perhaps, but nevertheless unacceptable, therefore hereby herewith and heretofore banned, ipso facto and by post haste (res ipsa loquitor).

Why are we spending so much energy trying to make an artificial human?  Do we hate ourselves that much?  We know how to make a real human – it's free, a little tricky but not undoable, and it feels terrific. 

Now if other harmless or amusing applications can be found for running robots, a limited amount of research funding may be appropriated for specific applications based on their value to society.  A few possibilities are raised below; the reader may use the Comment box to suggest others.

One allowable application for advanced running robots would be in slapstick comedy.  They could run full speed the wrong way into turnstiles or casually back off subway platforms to entertain us without costing a single human life.  (Note to self: write a comedy screenplay about running robots, perhaps involving a summer camp for robots or a robot who walks funny moving to a new high school, making friends and overcoming bullies by defeating them at some sport there hasn't been a big movie about yet but which robots could really rock, say pole-vaulting.)

Running robots could also be employed as intelligent targets for hitman practice, as dance partners for the congenitally unattractive, jogging mates for widows or dogs without masters, or imagine a tackling dummy that could cut on a dime or extend a vicious stiff-arm, it could greatly improve the open-field tackling skills of our nation's youth.  We could race running robots for betting purposes and eliminate the cruel horse- and vole-racing industries.  But such educational applications are among the very few that should be permitted. 

Of course we must not overlook the major legitimate application of this technology, the multi-billion dollar prosthetics industry.  Robot hips could turn even the clumsiest oafs into salsa kings.  With robot legs Detlef Schrempf could have played in the NBA for several more years, while Nancy Kerrigan could have laughed off the feeble pipestrikes of Tonya Harding's henchmen.

So maybe there are a few allowable applications.  However, when weighed against the possibility of the robots going renegade on us, our course of action becomes clear.  Further development of running robots engineered for purposes of destruction / warfare, even in a supporting role, is hereby suspended until further notice.  Violators of this edict will be cryogenically frozen in case we are ever invaded by aliens (or overrun by the living dead) and need to thaw them out so they can save us by developing running robots.  (Note to self: screenplay in which scientists are un-cryogenically-frozen to re-invent running robots that defeat aliens and save humanity, sort of Cowboys vs. Aliens meets Ice Man with a touch of Terminator IV: School Daze, etc., etc.).

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