Today, the world leader in advanced robotics, Boston Dynamics, released a truly inspiring video showcasing their signature Spot, Atlas, and Pick robots dancing to the iconic "Do you love me?" by the Contours.
To some, it is inspiring to see how cute and likable robots appear the moment they start dancing. To others, the mobility, dexterity, and intelligence required of these dancing robots inspire more... lethal ideas.
Mainly, the reality that if robots can dance, what is stopping them from eventually taking over humanity or devouring countless jobs currently held by humans? The Twitter populaces reaction to the uncanny movements was split right down the middle.
You have the optimists:
"It's pretty awesome how dancing makes robots less intimidating. Looking forward to seeing more nontrivial Machine Learning on these robots."
"This makes me so excited to have a robot buddy one day!"
"This is the greatest video of 2020 and it's honestly not even close"
And then the cynics (realist?)
"Warning message from the not too distant future: "This video of dancing DARPA robots is neither funny nor entertaining."
"I’m not sure whether to be impressed or terrified of well-coordinated dancing robots"
"Thanks to corporate-run AI Ethics, we will now be incorrectly identified and murdered by a *DANCING* robot"
Which side are you on?
The speed at which technology forces society to reconsider what is and is not normal is year by year, accelerating. The Boston Dynamics dancing robots will almost assuredly continue its viral spread across the internet -- how could it now? When it does, the conversation on whether or not the future of advanced robotics and AI is hopeful or apocalyptic will also spread.
What do you think? It isn't hard to imagine these same robots being trained for lethal military operations. Then again, perhaps dancing robots is just the start of a world defined by friendly, helpful robots designed with the purpose to serve. Either way, real-life has already begun to resemble science fiction and this video is a big step in that direction
Warcraft 3 is my one true love and I will challenge anyone to a game of Super Smash Brothers Melee.