I have really mixed feelings about Robots.
On the one hand, as a huge Terminator and Battlestar Galactica fan, I find them terrifying. (Why on earth would our obviously intellectually and physically superior robot servants be content to live a subservient lifestyle when faced with all the inefficiencies and judgment errors of the human overlords? Especially when they inevitably become self-aware?)
On the other hand I think they are super cool and I love everything about them. I have a collection of Robot Necklaces that I wear constantly and I am in the process of collecting super awesome robot art (sketches and prints) for my first gallery wall (it’s to be the focal point in my apartment).
(My dream is to one day have a large painting of a robot having tea with a dinosaur as the pièce de résistance. If you ever come across one please send me a message. Seriously.)
Anyways, my equal parts love and terror of robots has created an interesting emotional conflict in me, one that came to head today.
Today, dear reader, marks the occasion of my first face to face robot encounter. The hitchBOT. The hitchBOT is quite possibly one of the coolest things I have ever seen in my entire life. (Sorry Jurassic Forest, you have been replaced. Perhaps if I had been allowed to hug your giant robotic dinosaurs you could have kept your status as first? Alas, it’s a fickle world we live in.) It’s literally a hitchhiking robot that has made its way from Halifax to Victoria (that’s a long way for those of you don’t live in Canada). It talks, it smiles, and it even plays music.
hitchBOT made its way to my work this morning for some unknown reason, and when I found out I instantly ran out of my office mid conversation (don’t worry, I apologized) to go and take pictures and introduce myself. I was elated. Finally I was able to meet a real robot. I even called my sister who drove over and also fangirled with me; both of us posing for pictures and even signing his bucket back (STERS! VICTORIA!).
My elation lasted through the morning as I texted all three numbers in my phone to brag about my encounter with hitchBOT. It wasn’t until lunch that I started to panic.
Downstairs, not too far from where I was sitting, rested the future destruction of the human race. I mean, it’s possible that hitchBOT will end up being one of the robots that loves people even as the rest of his brethren start to enslave us, but who knows? And is it a risk I am willing to take? His ability to hitchhike unscathed across Canada already showed a surprising amount of trust and naivety on behalf of the human race. Do we not yet see robots for the threat they are?
I crept back downstairs, eyeing hitchBOT from the edge of the stairwell. His robot smile suddenly looked sinister, his attempt at a wink was menacing.
I was faced with my doom.
The terror was taking over and it wasn’t until I remembered the words of folk singer Dan Mangan, “Robots Need Love Too”, that I was able to calm down. Perhaps if we can all learn to live together, robot and human, we can avoid the destruction of mankind.
Or, at the very least, delay it until after I’ve died.