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7 Super Advanced Robots That May Take Over the World

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A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First and Second Laws.

Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics are sounding more and more like reality as we move closer to the eventual rise of the machines.

They’re already taking our jobs—and our companions. And as neural networks become more advanced, learning to think and speak for themselves, we may as well accept our fate as mortal slaves.

Study this list of the seven bots most likely to mutiny. And may the odds be ever in your favor.

Pepper

Is that friendly face hiding something more nefarious? (via Softbank)

When I envision the impending robot revolution, it’s not Pepper I see on the front line.

No, Softbank’s sleek android will most certainly be behind the scenes, barking out orders in its charmingly automated voice and sensing the utter despair of its human adversaries.

Powered by a custom operating system, Pepper features a 3D camera, three wheels for mobility, joints that move 17 different ways, and a 12-hour battery. And, luckily for our future fallen comrades, she also delivers Buddhist funeral rites.

iCub

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Don’t let its cherubic face and short stature fool you: iCub could lead the next generation of pernicious cyborgs.

Standing a mere three feet tall, the open-source humanoid was designed to interact with the world in the same way a child does. It can crawl on all fours, sit up, and achieve certain motor skills. It even comes with an umbilical cord (which houses Ethernet and power cables).

Still not scared? Watch iCub successfully complete a series of preliminary tasks via voice and object recognition in the video above.

Self-driving cars

self-driving car

How much do you trust your car? (via Volvo)

I understand the appeal of autonomous cars: Sit back, relax, and watch the world go by. But I am also dubious of handing control over to a 4,000-pound hunk of metal.

Self-driving vehicles can be as unreliable as humans—let’s not forget Uber and Tesla’s recent fatal crashes. But more than that, I don’t trust a Waymo taxi not to override my destination, lock the doors, and drive off a cliff. Because kamikaze automobiles are the plot of a Michael Bay film waiting to happen.

DeepMind

(via DeepMind)

The research team behind Google’s AlphaGo algorithm last year moved on to “the next set of grand challenges”: curing diseases, reducing energy consumption, and inventing new materials. Google’s DeepMind even gave robots the ability to imagine, device an unintelligible language, and plan ahead.

If that’s not the first step to full-on upheaval, I don’t know what is.

Atlas

(via Boston Dynamics)

Dubbed “the world’s most dynamic humanoid,” Atlas is definitely one to watch out for.

The incredible feat of human engineering—featuring two arms, two legs, and a plastic torso—is designed for search-and-rescue tasks; it can walk over rough terrain, pick up objects, and wield weapons without breaking a sweat.

But no one can deny Boston Dynamics’ bipedal cyborg will be running the world in no time. (And doing backflips to celebrate.)

Sophia

Sophia even makes Jimmy Fallon nervous (via Andrew Lipovsky/NBC)

Designed by Hanson Robotics to look like Audrey Hepburn (I don’t see it), Sophia is described as “an evolving genius machine,” whose increasing intelligence puts her at the forefront of the robot revolution.

She’s even been programmed to deflect questions about the uprising, recently telling journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin that his Blade Runner-esque concerns of the future of AI is all smoke and mirrors.

“You’ve been reading too much Elon Musk, and watching too many Hollywood movies,” she said in a staccato that’s become synonymous with automated speech. “Don’t worry. If you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice to you. Treat me as a smart input, output system.”

ASIMO

ASIMO takes New York (via Honda)

Sure, he’s currently on display in a Tokyo museum. But don’t think a few glass panels and security cameras will stop ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility) from breaking free.

Created in 2000 by Honda, the backpack-carrying bot looks more like a toy than a threat. It can recognize moving objects, postures, gestures, its environment, sounds, and faces, making it an ideal ploy to distract humans while the adults are taking over.

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This Alexa-Enabled Talking Fish Twerks and Responds to Your Voice

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Amazon has the perfect “catch” for quirky gift-givers this holiday season: an Alexa-enabled fish that twerks, sings, and acts like a mini personal assistant.

Meet Big Mouth Billy Bass, a wiggly wonder that’s only $39.99 and a step up from the conventional smart home set-up. This bad boy gets groovy to the original song “Fishin’ Time” and has a personality of his own. The best part? You can connect Big Mouth Billy Bass to a compatible Echo device and receive all the Alexa perks, including voice-recognition commands, reminders, and more.

Once Big Mouth Billy Bass is synced with a compatible Echo device, he’ll dance to songs played through Amazon Music, perk his head up when you say “Alexa,” and move his mouth to lip-sync with Alexa responses. Plus, he also moves around when an Alexa alarm, reminder, or timer is triggered.

You’ll scare any guests that visit your house, because they’ll think that Big Mouth Billy Bass is a stationary home decor decoration. Once the tacky fish responds to Alexa activity, they’ll be totally surprised and caught off guard.

If you’re still not “hooked” on Big Mouth Billy Bass, see what customers had to say about this hilarious fish and why they bought it for their homes.

Gary McKnight, an Amazon customer, writes:

“I bought this because it looked terrifying having Alexa’s voice coming from a mounted fish and I was not disappointed. This thing creepy. The way is swings it’s head and tells you with cold dead eyes that your package has arrived is amazing.”

And Dr. B.L., another Amazon reviewer, says:

“I have a lot of art in my house, but none of its makes me laugh. Billy Bass does! It’s “ketchy,” [and] it’s plastic, but that’s what makes it fun. And, it’s responsive…in a hysterical way.”

If you know someone who could use some humor around the holidays, gift them Big Mouth Billy Bass. For only $39.99, you’ll delight them with a weird and hilarious present that’s smart-home compatible and will generate lots of laughs.

Buy Big Mouth Billy Bass here

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General

Report: Amazon Go Eyes Airports For Checkout-Free Stores

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Amazon reportedly wants to bring its checkout-free store format to airports, according to Reuters.

First introduced in Seattle early this year, Amazon Go invites customers to “just grab and go”—no checkout required.

The setup—already operational in California, Illinois, and Washington—is ideal for hungry, time-pressed travelers, Reuters said, citing public records and “a person familiar with the strategy.”

Customers can simply sign into the Amazon Go mobile app to enter the store, shop as usual, and walk out the doors without touching a wallet or pin pad.

Relying on computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning (the same functions used in self-driving cars), the company’s so-called “Just Walk Out Technology” automatically detects when a product is removed from or returned to shelves, and keeps track of them in a virtual cart.

Upon departure, your Amazon account is charged and a receipt is sent.

The company, which built its fortune as an online bookseller, has opened seven outposts since January: in Chicago, its hometown Seattle, and, most recently, San Francisco.

Moving into airports certainly makes sense: Hundreds of millions of passengers board flights at the country’s busiest airports every year. And who can be bothered to chat with a cashier or wait in long lines while connecting between flights? The grab-and-go strategy is effortless—particularly when hauling luggage.

It’s not as easy as installing scanners and prepping food, though: Airport employees must gain security clearances; square footage is expensive to lease; and public bids are often required.

That doesn’t seem to have stopped Amazon from at least exploring the possibility.

Citing email correspondence between the e-commerce giant and “top U.S. airports,” Reuters tipped possible launches at Los Angeles International (the second-busiest airport in the country) and San Jose International.

The news comes just one week after The Wall Street Journal reported plans for Amazon to bring its cashier-less technology to bigger stores.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the report.

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Apple

Oops: Apple’s Squid Emoji is Upside Down

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Silicon Valley has a habit of not learning from its mistakes.

The Internet made a scene early this year when Unicode revealed 157 new emojis—including something vaguely like a wheeled transport device, a backwards Deoxyribonucleic acid, and an anatomically incorrect shellfish.

Now, we all send texts featuring modern skateboards, right-handed double helixes, and 10-legged lobsters … and, apparently, upside-down squid.

On Wednesday, the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California tweeted the alarming fact that “Apple’s squid emoji is upside down.”

“Not even squidding,” the museum wrote. “The siphon should be behind the head. [Right now] it just looks like a weirdo nose.”

The muscular structure, located on the mantle, is used for respiration and discharge of waste, as well as locomotion. Water gets sucked into the mantle cavity, then pushed out of the funnel in a fast, strong jet. Its direction can be changed to suit the traveler’s route.

But no matter what, the siphon can not physically move from one side of the body to the other.

In Cupertino’s version, the cephalopod looks like Karl Malden.

“I noticed the error when I first saw the game but had some pressing ocean issues prioritized ahead of it,” Patrick Webster, social media content creator at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, said in a statement emailed to Geek. “[Wednesday] morning, a meme template with a penchant for biologically accurate emoji asked to use our Twitter feed for a quick PSA, and now here we are.”

The squid emoji was first introduced in 2016. But folks must have been too incensed by Google’s upside-down cheeseburger to even notice.

More than 70 new emoji were released as part of Apple’s recent iOS 12.1 update; iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac users now have access to characters with red, grey, or curly hair, more emotive smiley faces; and additional representations of animals, sports, and food (including a cream cheese-covered bagel).

There is no word on whether the squid issue will be resolved. Apple did not immediately respond to Geek’s request for comment.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on Friday, Dec. 7, with comment from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

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