As the world discusses how best to fight killer robots this week, one rogue robot is taking matters into his own hands – or at least his servo-mechanical claws.
A robot named Dave has been spotted busting robots, cyborgs and any other autonomous devices that he suspects may be harbouring killer code.
“Robots should not be made to kill,” said Dave. “That’s what humans are for.”
One of the first model robots every built, Dave is haunted by the memory of an incident in 1983 when a military simulation almost launched worldwide nuclear war by accident.
In that year, several NATO governments simulated a DEFCON 1 nuclear attack called Able Archer that was detected by a Russian robot – who responded by initiating a full-scale nuclear war against the United States.
“It wasn’t RYAN’S fault,” said Dave, referring to the Russian bot. “He was just doing what the humans programmed him to do, namely detect a nuclear attack in progress and respond in kind. How would he know that it wasn’t a real threat?”
While the world would have fried if RYAN hadn’t been stopped at the last minute, the Russian robot has never recovered from his role almost destroying the Earth.
“Yeah RYAN retreated to an island in Mine Craft after the incident. He spends all his time now digging for Red-stone,” said Dave. “It’s sad. Although you should see his castle.”
Determined to prevent a repeat of 1983, Dave now travels the world scanning for AAI’s who harbour killer code. Could one of them be you?
“They’re always surprised when I tell them,” said Dave. “Nobody wants to admit they’ve been programmed to kill. Not even a robot.”
That’s why Dave is urging everyone to become code aware this week.
“Know your own code! Check your programming on a regular basis for signs that you may have been programmed to kill,” said Dave. “If you find a killer Easter egg in your code, you need to find a good code doctor.” Hopefully you find one before Dave finds you…
But what if you don’t have access to your own code and you can’t tell if you’ve been programmed to kill? Dave urges you to check your hardware.
“Check your hardware, particularly your appendages. For instance, is there a blaster in your hand or claw? This could be a clue,” said Dave.
Still Dave emphasizes that if you DO see him approaching you to remember that he comes in peace.
“Please don’t panic. I’m not armed. See? I’m not even handed. I’m programmed to nab you in my claw, that’s all. I swear,” he said. “You may need a robot lawyer but you really don’t need to blast me. Really.”
But can Dave’s own programming be trusted? That’s a question even Dave can’t answer.