Developing technology is the ‘Black Mirror’ to our reality

The robots are coming- run for your life

Developing technology is the ‘Black Mirror’ to our reality

Is it just me, or is it that every day I wake up and see highly technological madness in the news, I feel like I am watching an episode of “Black Mirror.” Is anyone else concerned?

The latest viral sensation shows the MIT’s biometrics lab testing dog-like bots called “Mini Cheetah robots” that do flips, tricks and even play soccer. They weigh roughly 20 pounds, and according to researchers, they are practically indestructible, which means they can take a licking but keep on ticking. News publications use tongue in cheek descriptors such as “cute,” “adorable,” and “fun,” even referring to them as being reminiscent of “puppies.”

To that I say, what has the world come to?

I was instantly taken to the post-apocalyptic “Black Mirror” episode, from season four entitled “Metalhead.” The episode, filmed in entirely black and white, is set in the not-so-distant future where robotic dogs that look like metallic cockroaches hunt a trio of humans in a style that would give the Terminator a run for his money. In this futuristic wasteland, the robo-dogs are fast, cunning, and damn ruthless. They can kill by projecting shrapnel at their victims, embed GPS trackers in its prey, recharge and repair itself through solar power energy; all while having the stamina to hunt until the mission is accomplished. “Metalhead” is one of the most haunting episodes of “Black Mirror.” Because it reminds us that a dystopian future is actually probable due to our daily use of — and dependence on — technology.

Courtesy of Netflix

This isn’t the first time that we have been reminded of our mortality through the way of robotics and AI. In Nov. 2017, Boston Dynamics revealed their creation of a backflipping robot — which excited the internet into a moment of hopeless despair to ask — why does a robot need to do a backflip?

Yes, it’s no secret that movies and television have influenced the way we view artificial intelligence, automation, and robots. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a film or show that puts technology in a good light — unless we’re talking about “Wall-E” — although the movie’s antagonists were a bunch of rogue droids.

The technological advancements developed over the past few decades leads to fearful speculation in our current reality. So, in other words, it is not just a zany conspiracy theory. According to MIT’s researchers, the Mini Cheetah robots are currently in consideration to be used to replace human-operated jobs for cost efficiencies and safety precautions. Developers anticipate that in the future, they will be used for other tasks such as delivery services and security patrols. Yes, you read that correctly. Security Patrols!

“Black Mirror,” and Andrew Yang warned us — the robots will take over.

An Oxford University study, claims as many as 47 percent of all jobs are likely to be eliminated by technology within the next 20 years. In a 2017 interview, Tesla CEO Elon Musk described artificial intelligence as “the greatest risk we face as a civilization … and I think people should be really concerned about it.”

If the experts are concerned, shouldn’t we be?

MIT says that while the cheetahs may be physically impressive, they lack overall intelligence. For now.

Give them another decade and these demi-robots will have intuitive capabilities to sense human activity through thermal detection and house DNA recognition capabilities — just like we saw in 2002 film “Minority Report.”

When I read this type of news, I wonder if we are just apathetic to the cause? How is society able to sit back in an awestruck daze?

This cutting-edge technology not only compromises our privacy but our sense of humanity and is paving the way to eliminate our jobs. Are we just mindless drones spellbound by the latest gadgets that we can’t see how it has totally overtaken our reality?

I’ve grown tired of the constant reminder that my web activity is tracked through the taxing chore of having to “accept cookies” to continue viewing a webpage. Moreover, the fact that I can’t scroll through a page without blaring ads that take up the entirety of my screen. It’s annoying but, more importantly, damn intrusive.

We continue to give Facebook a pass at their continual misuse of our privacy, Gayle King called out the Adam Mosseri, the CEO of Instagram, saying she’s convinced the social platform is listening to our conversations. Twitter is no angel as they’ve come under scrutiny for their data collection methods. That doesn’t even scratch the surface with all the other privacy infringements and lack of social responsibility by big tech. A recent New York Times article finds through investigation that child pornography “runs rampant, while tech companies look the other way.” These companies lack social ethics and perpetuate our growing issues.

When I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Make 1984 fiction again,” I mused at the idea while feeling a loss of hope.

When will we stop and say enough is enough? Or at least reflect on our current “online” behaviors and the personal data that we willfully expose?

One thing is clear. Doing nothing and resting on our laurels is not an option.

In the “Black Mirror” episode, the humans think they can outsmart the relentless robo-dogs, and aren’t we virtually assuming the same by sitting back and waiting for the technological bus to come and take us out? We assume that providing our personal details, locations, finger and facial characteristics, and our financial data will benefit us — without repercussions in the long run?

If that’s the case, we are just as lost as those desolate humans of “Metalhead.”