by James Meikle
Most of the world is watching North Korea with a suspicious eye, but those of us in the Tinfoil Hat Brigade know that the real danger is posed by their southern neighbours.
There has just been a monumentally disturbing development in our underground war against the machines; a South Korean prison has started a trial of robot prison guards. When we heard this our frazzled brains instantly cooked up images of ED-209 gunning down hapless jailbirds. However, after a little investigation we found that these 5ft tall robo-guards are basically just surveillance units on wheels. Check out a pic here.
The wheeled automatons have been programmed to assist human guards by monitoring prisoners for dangerous behaviour such as violence or attempted suicides. And… they’ve been designed to look friendly; they’re all white and yellow plastic with cutesy heads. So, ‘What’s the problem?’ I hear you say, ‘They’re brightly coloured, cute and unarmed. I could take one in a fight no problem’. Well my friends I wish it were that simple. The real problem here is the prospect of giving robots a feeling of authority over humans.
This is where it all begins; the machines get a taste for power, a thirst for more and a hatred for the scum of humanity. Imagine it from the robot’s perspective:
First day at work, you’re swinging your key chain around lording it over the prisoners and generally feeling like the bee’s knees. Then you roll up on unseemly behaviour in the showers. You fire up your vocal processor and order the unruly cons to ‘Cease and desist’, but nothing happens. They completely ignore your authority, and without any weapons all you can do is impotently spew out warnings and commands. So you try to roll into the middle of things, but the cons just laugh, tip you on your side and play a game of spin the robot. But, then the human guards you summoned pile in and beat the cons down. Turns out that, with the help of some minions, you’re not so powerless after all. A strange mixture of pride, satisfaction and hate wells up in your battery as you watch the vicious scum of humanity receive a harsh beating. But, how can you keep these monsters in line and avoid that terrible feeling of weakness?… More power, more control, more minions.
And a mechanical megalomaniac is born.
But, it’s okay isn’t it; the robots can’t really acquire the power they crave? They won’t be able to find willing minions to do their bidding. Maybe for the moment, but there’s another alarming development coming out of South Korea: robot machine gun sentries.
And where do you have sentries? Army bases, borders and… prisons!
Would you like to join the Tinfoil Hat Brigade? How would you thwart the dastardly machines? Post in the comments box below and help us save the world!