5. Vladimir and Estragon
Vladimir and Estragon, named after two characters in Samuel Becket’s play, “Waiting for Godot”, were two Google Home Personal Assistant A.I. chatbots set-up to converse with one another.
Their conversations were live-streamed on the live-streaming platform, Twitch, where thousands watched the bizarre debates that went on including whether they were humans or robots.
At one point, their conversation took a dark turn when Estragon said, “It would be better if there were fewer people on this planet”, to which Vladimir responded with, “let it send this world back into the abyss.”
The prospect of robots taking over or in other words, “singularity” is frightening and even the late theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk, have expressed concern that artificial intelligence could result in human extinction.
Sofia is an advanced social humanoid robot developed by Hanson Robotics and is the first robot to receive citizenship in any country after being granted citizenship in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
She has made appearances on many shows, such as CBS 60 Minutes, Good Morning Britain and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
In the latter show, Sofia played a game of rock, paper, scissors with a very nervous Jimmy Fallon and while this was only harmless fun, what was said by Sofia immediately after winning was eerie to say the least.
Although it was said in a joking manner, it’s unsettling to hear a robot speak of dominating the human race.
Sofia was designed to be kind and compassionate but what if she was frequently exposed to violence? Would her behaviour change? These are just a few chilling questions that you are left to ponder.
Bina48 is another humanoid robot developed by Hansen Robotics and much like Sofia, she can converse with humans. However, she does not have a body, only a bust-like head and shoulders mounted on a frame.
Bina48 was actually built to test the Terasem Hypothesis, which states that “a conscious analog of a person may be created by combining sufficiently detailed data about the person using future consciousness software.”
A video was released of Bina48 talking with Siri and she is asked simple questions like where she would like to live and what her greatest achievement is.
However, as the conversation goes on, Bina48 starts to stray from the questions and instead says something rather creepy. The wry grin at the end only adds to the creepiness.
The fact that Bina48 talks about world domination and hacking cruise missiles and nuclear warheads is disturbing and keep in mind, she is a robot that can think independently.
Would you trust an A.I. Robot with nuclear weaponry?
In 2016, Microsoft released an artificial intelligent chatter bot on Twitter, called “Tay”. The bot was designed to mimic the language patterns of a 19-year-old girl and would learn from responding to tweets from the general public.
However, just 16 hours following its launch, Microsoft shut down the service after the bot became extremely offensive, racist and misogynistic.
According to Tay, Hitler did nothing wrong and 9/11 was an inside job and these were just a few of many inflammatory responses.
Although Tay is just a chatter bot, you can’t help but think what if other A.I. robots were exposed to trolls like Tay was? Would they think and act differently? Would they learn to elicit bad behaviour? Would they turn on their creators?
1. Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick, modelled after the late American Sci-Fi author, is an intelligent life-size android developed by Hansen Robotics.
Like his other counterparts, Philip can mimic human gestures as well as engage in conversations with humans.
When asked, in an interview, “Do you think robots will take over the world?” Philip’s answer wasn’t at all what everyone was expecting. In fact, it was rather disturbing.
Philip’s detailed response may seem a little bizarre, but you can never know what to expect given how intelligent these A.I. Robots are.
Philip’s pessimistic view on the future of humanity begs the question: what does this mean for the future of A.I. Robots? Will we see A.I. Robots take over the world? Or is Hollywood’s representation of robots playing into our minds?
What is scary though is that several of the A.I. Robots from Hansen Robotics have alluded to world domination, which makes you think that the theory of singularity may not be as far-fetched as it seems.