The fear of artificial intelligence backfiring on us is a common one in TV and Movies. A robot becoming self-aware and rising up against its masters is one we have seen a thousand times.
It’s scary to think about, but it probably doesn’t keep too many awake at night, because let’s face it: it seems pretty far-fetched.
But what if I told you it has already happened? And to me, of all people. Someone who has been a big admirer of robots all my life!
Oh, it’s not like some humanoid automaton was chasing me down the street wanting to choke the life out of me for creating a sentient being in a world full of so much pain, no. Like many of the big events in life, it started with a squeak, not a roar. But the effects were just as devastating!
A few months ago, I purchased a Nest “learning” thermostat for my home. I thought it would be a fun project and might even end up saving me some money on my air conditioning bill.
Not long after I finished hard-wiring it into the wall in my hallway, I got the first clues of the nightmare that lay ahead.
No matter what temperature I set this thing to, I was always too hot. I scoured the internet message boards for tips but nothing seemed to work. I messed with the settings, I made sure I had placed the device in an area that wasn’t too drafty, I even did a full uninstall/reinstallation reboot.
It just didn’t make any sense! Everybody seemed to love these things. Not a single person in the entire world seemed to have this same problem I did.
I thought about just throwing the damn thing out, or returning it for a refund, but the more I thought about it, the more I became convinced that this particular thermostat was special. That it had achieved consciousness.
I don’t really know why it didn’t like me. Like I said, I am a big fan of robots and I treat all of my electronics with the utmost care.
It hit me like a ton of bricks when I finally realized the horrifying truth: this was just the start of these machines’ evil uprising. It starts with me being slightly too warm, the next thing you know, some computer is shooting off our nukes at Belgium!
I knew I had to act before I let that happen so I ripped this $250 destroyer of worlds right off of my wall and then just to be safe, I smashed my iPhone and my iPad for good measure. Then I burned the internals with sulfuric acid. I must have used too much acid though, because it burned a hole right through the floor of my apartment and the apartment under that and then dripped into the garage and through the roof of a BMW.
You would think that I would be praised for averting a global catastrophe, but no. I got yelled at by my landlord and my downstairs neighbors instead! Luckily, I had enough acid left to throw in all of their faces and permanently blind them so I could run out of there before they all hurt my feelings with their mean words.
Now I live in the woods and I eschew the modern conveniences of learning thermostats and iPads and just focus on what’s important: my religion that I started myself where I am “married” to 15 homeless women that I met while on the run from the law for burning those people with acid.
So when you tuck your kids into bed tonight and realize they face a future free from human servitude and robot-rapings, you can think of me and be grateful I am out there sleeping under a tree and banging the grossest bunch of skanks you ever got an HJ from at a bus stop.