Rise of the Machines

I am not much of a science buff or technical geek, but I do watch movies. Terminator: Rise of the Machines is here and Skynet is going to become self-aware. Here’s a breakdown of the five latest headlines in robot news and how it affects you.

1. Deliver Your Pizza

Robot Delivering food

A robot delivering my pizza or Chinese takeout? Yes, please. I can answer the door looking like the hot mess I am and not be nice to anyone. Very appealing. On second thought, I hope no one is reviewing the camera footage. I don’t need a bunch of pizza-rellas or Asians laughing at me.

All this angst over robots replacing fast food workers is misplaced. It’s not a career. No one ever aspired to work at McDonald’s except when they were six or they are just really, really unfortunate. And the argument of missed human interaction? I can’t say that I have experienced any memorable or witty banter with a drive-thru employee.

Bot deliveries could save lives. Morons and gangsters will surely find a way to rob a bot of its payload or even gun it down just for mischievous fun, but better an expensive robot lose its life over $30 and a calzone than the poor underemployed delivery guy. It will also be interesting when the screaming starts over why Joe’s Pizzeria won’t let its bots deliver in certain areas. Robot lives matter, anyone?

2.  Have Sex with You


There is absolutely nothing good I can say about this. It will never be right no matter how you come at it. Sure, I can hear many of you jumping for joy over this one. No human commitments and messy relationships. You don’t even have to speak to it after you use it. Besides, you say, it may put the oldest profession out of work and save lives. It’s just an oversized sex toy.  I’m not buying this one. Sex only as gratification reduces us to animals. It’s like Tender on steroids.

Vanity Fair has a really great article on why Millennials are already sexually messed up and don’t know how to date. Let’s not take this to the next level. Besides, I read enough about freakish Asian men who don’t want to ever date because they are too busy engaging with their “devices.”

3.  Terminate You


The internet was abuzz when the Dallas police force employed its $151,000 Remotec Androx Mark V A-1 to take down the black gunman picking off police officers like flies during the recent Black Lives Matter demonstration. Stop right there. Didn’t any of you watch Hunger Games? It’s all fun and games until they deem you an enemy of the state and send in the Peace Keepers. No thanks.

If you are paying attention, and many of you are not, they are already deeming free speech to be criminal and labeling Constitutionalists extremists bent on terror.

Look, I think my liberal friend’s views are truly asinine, but I will always, always, always want them to have the right to spout off their idiotic ideals. It’s what makes America great.

4.  Maim You

mall robot

The robot company Knightscope Inc. designed its 300-pound K5 machine to protect against malicious humans, that is until it ran over a toddler’s leg in a California mall last week. A Knightscope representative called the incident a “freakish accident” and CEO William Santana Li was quick to say, “Our primary mission is to serve the public’s overall safety, and we take any circumstance that would compromise that mission very seriously.” The bot was then suspended.

Okay, then. I feel better now that I know they have “suspended” this rogue bot from the mall. Jeez, where is the freak factor that a robot is scanning your face as you shop and comparing it against arrest records and faces in its database. Is this really going to stop a terrorists loaded down with explosives from blowing himself up in your presence? Not likely, but it will collect facial recognition data on you. It’s invasive and creepy. Note to mall security: Get a hired gun like everyone else.

5.  Crash Your Car

driverless car

Google aims to make driver-less cars human-proof after one of its beta cars crashed into a school bus this spring. I have never liked the idea of driverless cars because I am a control freak. I do not particularly cotton to the idea of not being in control when I am traveling inside a steel cage going 60 mph. But rest assured, they are coming. It is just too tempting for insurance companies to take humans out of the driving equation and minimize their losses. At some time in the not too distant future, you will be penalized financially for not having a self-driving vehicle.

The upside of this grim forecast is it will be a boon to the multiple DUI offenders who are now relegated to driving mopeds at rush hour and causing extreme road rage all around my state. Other than this, I see it as rife with surveillance misuse and tax chicanery.

When a car can control where I am going and when, then I will never escape the surveillance grid. Taking away my personal freedom to drive where and when I like, and then taxing me for every piece of ground my wheels touch or for carbon taxes is un-American. It’s like taking John Wayne’s horse away from him.