TLDR: Skip to 3:41 for wheeled action
Boston Dynamics’ early products were designed in a research partnership with DARPA, aka the US Department of Defence. Google X currently owns them, although they are looking to sell: mainly because developing machine AI is a harder task than software AI, takes longer, and offers a much longer lead time before producing profitable enterprises. While Boston Dynamics’ robots move realistically, they still can’t think for themselves. In all those shots of robots walking around forests and deserts a human is guiding them by radio control.
Guess who has the money for long-term investment?
I’d like to think these guys evolve to delivering pizza and safeguarding kids at the playground, but the realistic part of me knows this technology will inescapably end up with military and policing capabilities (these two are increasingly the same).
How about we combine Boston Dynamics tech with these transparent gel robots from MIT.
Big can be avoided. Big can be managed. What’s really fucking scary is miniaturization.
So, you’re invading a country. Maybe you’re after some dwindling natural resources. Drop ten thousand transparent, waterproof, gel-like robots in the waters of the harbor. Another ten thousand in ponds and lakes. At beach resorts. Program them to pull under and drown any human not wearing the right transmitter.
Follow up with ten thousand of these self-organizing suckers on land.
Arm them with poison. Or tiny tiny scalpels. Or explosives. Just enough to really terrify the populace, disrupt everyday life, and reduce resistance.
Sure, they need to follow a projector’s instructions. For now.
Forget military uses. How about you just deploy them in a city, listening to and recording conversations and digital communications to identify undocumented immigrants. They’re small. They could be anywhere. Hey, disguise them as discarded coke cans. Or Starbucks cups. Better check under the bed at night.
This tech will develop faster than we think. We’re not ready for the consequences of what we can do. Drones and missiles will be the least of our worries.