Monday, August 3, 2015

Can Humans Trust Robots? Better Question Can Robots Trust Humans?
The question has always been can humans trust robots. But a group of Canadian researchers asked "Can robots trust humans?" Sadly this has been answered with a resounding no. The premise was simple: Create a non-mobile robot that depended on the generosity of others to move around with the idea to get the bot from one side of the country to another. Dubbed HitchBot, last year the bot made the trek across Canada and parts of Europe.

This year HitchBot's goal was to get across the USA. It was well on its way visiting several states, went out to sea one day, and visited a baseball game another. Sadly his tour met with a disastrous end when two weeks into his visit he met up with the wrong crowd in Philadelphia. Details are still coming in but it would appear that someone wanted to wipe the smile off of the robots face, for no good reason other than 'it was there'. It sure doesn't make this country look like a nice place to be when HitchBot went though Canada, Netherlands, and Germany without any issue.

Upon reading about this pointless destruction I am reminded of so many sci-fi stories written where humans were wary of trusting robots. Then in more recent years stories about robots 'getting the shaft' from humans, and taking their revenge. One of the more famous examples would be The Matrix where the robots had conquered the world and plugged humans into a simulation so they could harvest their radiated energy. It is scary to think that one day robots might take their revenge. But this incident makes one think it is only a matter of time for the simple reason that some people think it is fun to be cruel, and when the robots are able to emulate and react...look out. It just boggles my mind. 

Don DeBon is the author of Italian Fever, Red Warp, and Soulmates.  Currently available on  Nook, iBook, Kindle, Smashwords, Oyster, Scribd, and Kobo.  

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