Artist and robotics wonk Alexander Reben asked his virtual assistant to zap an apple with a BB air pistol, which it does without hesitation because that’s what the AI does.
“OK, Google, activate gun,” says Reben, to which the virtual assistant answers, “Sure, turning on the gun.”
A buzzer goes off, the trigger is actuated, and the apple falls, pierced by some low-power .177 lead. A tiny bit spooky, sure, but nothing really dangerous unless your name is Ralphie and you are clad in a bunny suit. But that’s not really the point.
Reben, who has cautioned on Asimov’s first law of robotics in the past, told Engadget, “Part of the message for me includes the unintended consequences of technology and the futility of considering every use case” i.e. Google may have never thought their software agent could evolve into a potentially lethal agent.
Still, any mechanism…
Of course, looking at this, we see potential. Such as the Raven Hotel’s Poe AI in Altered Carbon, complete with laser-aimed retractable mini-guns and a backup Winchester 1897 shotty from under the front desk counter. Now, that is progress.
Baby steps, man.
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