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Elon Musk sees backflipping robot, thinks Apocalypse

Commentary: When the Tesla CEO saw Boston Dynamics' Atlas doing a backflip, he flipped. On Twitter, that is.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Elon Musk Presents SpaceX Plans To Colonise Mars

When will people listen to me?

Mark Brake/Getty Images

Ever since I saw Boston Dynamics' Atlas robot perform a backflip, I've not been the same.

Involuntary shudders have assaulted me in public moments. I even threw my copy of "Atlas Shrugged" in the trash. It was too close to the truth.

These robots are beginning to shrug at us and we just stand and stare.

Then along came Elon Musk to make me feel worse.

On Sunday, he espied the footage of the backflipping metal creature on Twitter and was compelled to observe: "This is nothing. In a few years, that bot will move so fast you'll need a strobe light to see it. Sweet dreams…"

Musk has repeatedly warned of the uncontrolled progress of artificial intelligence.

He's begged politicians to begin regulating it now. Before, presumably, the bots move so fast that the politicians won't even see them. Which, looking at the current Congress, wouldn't take much speed at all.

I'm especially perturbed by Musk's suggestion that the age of the lightning-fast robot is so close at hand. 

It's bad enough listening to the likes of Google director of engineering Ray Kurzweil insisting that by 2030 we'll be robot hybrids.

But if we now have to prepare for backflipping robots who'll run rings around us without us even being able to see the rings, I'm ready to give up.

It almost makes me want to get on the side of the robots now and join the insane AI church known as the Way of the Future.  

Wait, though. We can unplug these robots, can't we? We can control their speeds, so that we can at least view their gymnastics and offer them a 5.9, can't we?

Or will they override our wishes? Without us even seeing it happen, that is.

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