Sunday, May 17, 2009

Well said

"Thinking Robots

No, I'm not worried about the robot apocalypse, à la The Matrix. I'm rather more worried about the WALL-E scenario, in which robots do all the work -- happily -- and people become pudgy balls of flesh lolling about all day without the slightest idea of what to do other than eat pureed food because it's just too much trouble to chew. This is totally realistic. Hell, I spend more than eight hours a day in front of a computer screen as it is, sucking down Coke Zero and being glad there's only one flight of stairs between me and my fridge. If I had C3PO to get me my Cokes, I might have already fused into my desk chair by now.

This is the dirty untold secret of The Matrix: Not that we'll be enslaved by machines who hook us up to a virtual reality to keep us pacified, but that we'll plug ourselves in voluntarily. If you don't think this will ever happen, you've obviously never played World of Warcraft (or known someone who has). The minute we can turn our body maintenance over to thinking robots while we frolic, sexy and beweaponed, in a fantasy world, we're going to lose about half the people on the planet to it."

Blatantly stolen from a column written by John Scalzi for AMC, and pretty much exactly where I think we're heading. My business prof's love to talk about RFID chips and how they'll eventually do our grocery shopping for us - it scares me to the core.

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