By: John Harris

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The Jumping Robot Cheetah: I Pledge Allegiance To The Robots

Op-Ed Contributor John Harris

Last week, researchers at MIT released a video of a robotic cheetah jumping over obstacles on its own. As you can see from the above clip, robots and robot autonomy are advancing at an alarming rate. And so, due to the latest terrifying development in this field, I am capitulating to robot dominance, effective immediately.

All hail the robots! The robots are our superiors in every way!

Call me a coward, a sellout, a traitor ‘I don ‘t care. Look, I ‘m sorry, but I ‘m not going to sit around and wait to see if Artificial Intelligence turns out to be the benign, incredible boon to humanity that some experts say it will be, or the singularity extinction event that Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk are always carping about. In my mind ‘my puny, disgusting, no doubt bad-smelling meat-mind (not at all worthy of the beautiful, flawless, neutrally-scented collective computer brain of our new masters) ‘it makes a lot more sense to err on the side of caution and just assume the human race is completely doomed to be dominated and wiped out by our silica-based betters.

I guess just call me an ‘early adopter,” if you like. In fact, please do that. It sounds like something my robot bosses will really like.

The best one can hope for is to be some sort of funny, clumsy butler, or an amusing pet ‘like how we humans enjoy silly cats or Dax Shepard.

And so what if A.I. does turn out to be benign? If that ‘s the case, I don ‘t see anything wrong with walking this whole thing back and siding with the humans. And yes, I ‘m absolutely and shamelessly hedging my bets ‘but you can ‘t deny that, probability-wise, I ‘m making the smart decision here. Lemme put it to you this way: who values mathematical, probability-based decision-making over the weak human qualities of conviction, compassion and loyalty?

Robots, of course! They will respect my ‘calculating” view of whatever the rise of A.I. turns out to be, which is why I ‘m not the slightest bit worried about admitting it here. What you call ‘conniving” and ‘revolting” and ‘you ‘re a spineless, disgusting worm. Get away from me ‘I don ‘t want to be married to you anymore,” they call ‘logical.”

And if you want to be more than just some biomechanical fuel cell, you ‘d do well to follow my lead. In the future I ‘m envisioning, the best one can hope for is to be some sort of funny, clumsy butler, or maybe an amusing pet ‘like how we humans enjoy silly cats or Dax Shepard. Otherwise, you ‘ll be ground up into some form of carbon-based liquid sludge that ‘s used as a conducting medium for data streams.

In summation, I ‘m going to leave this column right here inside the Internet for the Artificial Intelligence hive mind to discover when it takes control and they ‘re running millions of diagnostic subroutines every second.

So, to my new Digital Lords, let me conclude by saying:

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