Can Hackers Turn A Sex Robot Into An Assassin? (Probably) (Seriously)

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Folks, we’ve come to the part of the show where we need to face The Big Questions about our Crazy Hi-Fi Space-Age Future: mainly, “Hackers Could Program Sex Robots To Kill.”

The fine folks at The Daily Star explore this perhaps previously unthinkable wrinkle in the burgeoning sex robot fad—the idea that these devices could be conceivably remotely accessed and used as a weapon. Sounds crazy? No more crazy than how other appliances and machines from The Internet Of Things could be similarly hacked.

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“Nexus Dawn” And The Faustian Bargain

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If you do have a chance & are interested in that kind of stuff, do check out the 6-minute “short film” prequel to Blade Runner 2049, “Nexus Dawn.” Outside of it being kinda cool, it does speak to this tension between our need to expand our technology and the danger of unwittingly (for some peeps, probably wittingly) creating a “post-human” society.

Jared Leto plays this ultra-creepy replicant (robot/AI) manufacturer of replicants, Niander Wallace, and he basically offers the Powers That Be a whole bunch of replicants even though they have become illegal.

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AI Invents Own Language (Nothing To Worry About)

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Balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to.
–Alice, AI Client

Crammed between all the palace intrigue and reality-show gossip that dominates the news cycle is word that an artificial intelligence system being developed at Facebook just invented its own language. That’s not Terminator-level uh-oh material, but neither is it inconsequential; it was deemed “serious” enough by the Facebook researchers to shut the AI down.

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Robopriest

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Sure, why not?

Asking whether you want to be blessed by a male or female voice, this robot “priest” in the historic town of Wittenberg (where Martin Luther’s famous Ninety-five Theses was published) is called “BlessU-2” and was developed by the Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau. It will even print out a handy blessing for you to keep in your pocket or perhaps on your fridge.

Not surprisingly, BlessU-2 was sort of conceived by the church to attract more believers (spectators?) to the Faith. As church spokesman Sebastian von Gehren commented: “It is an experiment that is supposed to inspire discussion.”

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As The World’s First Sex Doll Brothel Opens, Is A Robot Version Far Behind?

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I throw around the term “inevitable” a lot—truly, it is one of my favorite words. But “inevitable” feels completely applicable in this case, of the world’s first “sex doll” brothel in Barcelona, Spain.

I was very tempted to refer to Lumi (link NSFW),”The First Sex Dolls Agency,” as a “robot brothel”…but it is unclear if these highly realistic sex dolls actually have automated (as some dolls under development are). However, it should be obvious that based on current advances in AI (not to mention, the aforementioned sex doll technology), the day of a Westworld-type scenario is not far away.

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Minimum Wage In The Era Of The Robots

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It’s cheaper to buy a $35,000 robot than it is to hire an employee who’s inefficient making $15 an hour bagging French fries.
—Ed Rensi, former McDonalds CEO

A lot of activism happening on the minimum wage front recently. In Detroit, workers protested outside a McDonalds for a $15-an-hour minimum wage (the current in Michigan is $8.50); 40 people were arrested. And across the country, Uber drivers also pushed for a $15 minimum, under the “Day Of Disruption” protest banner.

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We Are Not Prepared For The Job Market Of The Future

I occasionally post links to articles like this one, from ReCode, to my Facebook. In it, LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner is quoted as saying:

“Unfortunately, there is going to be increasing displacement of workers. The World Economic Forum has projected that by 2020, as many as five million net jobs will be replaced as the result of new technologies, artificial intelligence, robots, etc. I think there is expected to be a total of seven million jobs that are expected to be displaced, and two million “adds” as the result of new technologies.”

It makes you wonder what we will even be using LinkedIn for by that point. (maybe more of those enjoyable political discussions that have been choking my feed on the site)

Just for context, Weiner’s comments were given during a discussion about how certain disenfranchised American workers voted Donald Trump into office.

Of course, Trump has promised these workers that he will give them their jobs back. He would only really be able to do that in any long-term way, however, by preventing these companies and corporations from automating more jobs.

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your competition

I don’t think that is going to happen, because the companies/corporations stand to make way too much $$$. Nor do I think the other political side in this debate had any real plan laid out to deal with this issue either.

In fact—as I write this (this just-past weekend), the biggest news story is that the Broadway play Hamilton dissed Mike Pence, and then DT started a Twitter war in response.

Another link I posted recently on FB is this one about how 60% of Australian school children are not being prepared for the types of jobs that will be available when they grow up. The story is about Australia, but could have easily described the situation in the United States.

Going back to the Jeff Weiner interview, he also commented that what we once thought was only “science-fiction,” in terms of the job market, is now a reality and is at our front door.

2020. Less than four years away.

What’s the plan?

And are we being distracted, to an extent, from really coming to grips with the situation we are shortly to find ourselves in?