Watch Out For Robot Racism
Are white robots racist? CNN—which is totally not fake news, according to CNN—wants to know. Actually, they already have an answer from a real expert: white robots are evidence of racism, absolutely. (Of course).
You’ve definitely seen them: these white robots are all over movies like “I Robot,” Eve in “Wall-E” and in real life like Honda’s Asimo bot and Boston Dynamics’ Atlas. The hashtags and controversies of the future aren’t going to be about #Oscarsowhite they’re going to be #Robotsowhite.
New research from the Human Interface Technology Laboratory in New Zealand cited by CNN says humans subconsciously think of robots as part of racial groups and thus give them a color. Their colors also influence how we as humans (apologies to any robots reading this, I didn’t mean to be speciesist) perceive the robots and act toward them: for example, an anti-black racist person will be more likely to treat a black robot poorly or see it as dangerous.
Lead researcher Christoph Bartneck explained it succinctly: “Human-shaped robots should represent the diversity of humans … Imagine a world in which all the robots working in Africa or India are white. Further imagine that these robots take over roles that involve authority. Clearly, this would raise concerns about imperialism and white supremacy.”
So, are white robots a sign of racism? Yes, absolutely yes, and even worse as you can see.
I bet the suspense was killing you.
Soon white supremacist white robots will be killing you, too.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.
Here’s the good news though:
If a black, grey, neon green, blue or purple killer bot comes for you in the future remain 100% calm. As it points a massive laser gun between your eyes and squeezes the trigger with its soft, colorful, magically diverse robot hands don’t worry—at least you can die with a smoking hole in your brain knowing you weren’t killed by a racist.
As you watch its mechanical tendons recoil one millisecond before your head becomes a Costco parking lot, rest assured that you are one of the good guys who died a noble death.
In fact, every reputable scientist agrees that getting your face blasted off is 91% better if it’s done to you by a non-racist.
“We have everything to win by offering racial options and nothing to lose,” Bartneck said.
There is a complication, however, that CNN’s source may not have foreseen: inter-robot racism. Let’s call it robacism.
What if the blue robots begin to hate the green robots with the passion of a thousand burning Plutos and start systematically purging them from the mean streets of Mechano City with chainsaws and laser cannons while blasting Eiffel 65’s breakout hit “I’m blue, if I was green I would die, I’m blue if I was green I would die!” from their high-tech inbuilt boom-speakers with extra bass?
Imagine the blue roboto-demons’ maniacal robot laughs as they alter the lyrics and start chanting “if you’re green you will die ha ha ha ha.” Imagine the prolonged screams of robotic agony as the innocent green bots entire mechanical lives and years of future potential are snuffed out in an orgy of unrestrained robot-on-robot violence.
What will CNN say then? To be fair, by that time in the future (about four years away give or take) CNN will be run by rainbow-colored cyborgs who tell the news solely by repurposing Lady Gaga and Kei$ha lyrics, so it will likely issue a very strongly worded condemnation by auto-tuning:
“We don’t care what people say, we know the truth
Enough is enough of this horse shit
I am not a freak, I was born with my free gun.
Don’t tell me I’m less than my freedom.”
The condemnations will get even stronger once President Blue is elected and starts ruthlessly instituting a complex eugenics program to eliminate all green “filth” from the tech-gene pool. “Today we’re all green,” the CNN anchor says with a synthetic tear sliding down its polymer face, pointing to the sliver of green in one of its rainbow stripes. This is followed by screams as its internal circuitry is ripped apart by a rampaging blue tech guy who has had enough and is overcome by enraged robacial hatred.
Forget humans and their amateur hour racist inclinations: it’s time to seriously research anti-robacism chips for robots. Perhaps CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta can help. This research should already have started yesterday.
Don’t say you weren’t warned.