Perhaps singularity is a little too near.
The latest video by robot developer Boston Dynamics, which seems to always coincide with a rise of Terminator references, has elicited a wide range of strong emotional reactions. The new robot, Handle (because it will be handling objects), brings forth a sense of awe for its speed, agility, strength, and ability to jump. At the same time, the machine’s impressiveness brings forward deep-seated fears of robots-gone-wild.
We don’t want the student to become the master.
“This is the debut presentation of what I think will be a nightmare-inducing robot.”-Boston Dynamics’ founder Marc Raibert, introducing Handle at a private event in late January 2017.
It is easy to picture Handle as either:
1. A benevolent robot working alongside human employees in a warehouse. (Bonus: no sore back from lifting all of those heavy boxes.)
2. A weaponized robot deployed by militaries. (I wouldn’t want to go up against Handle in a human vs machine version of BattleBots.)
Raibert was right in his prediction that Handle would be viewed as nightmare-inducing, with a flurry of comments online expressing a certain level of anxiety.
— Ian Keddie (@IanJKeddie) February 27, 2017