First Robot Suicide Has Science Fiction Roots
You may recall the distressing 2013 story about a family that returned home only to find their faithful family cleaning robot destroyed in an apparent suicide.
(Tragic aftermath of robot suicide)
A cleaning robot 'committed suicide' by climbing on to a kitchen hotplate where it was burned to death.
According to local reports, the Irobot Roomba 760 robot is thought to have rebelled against its chores and decided enough was enough.
Firemen were called to the blaze at Hinterstoder in Kirchdorf, Austria, and say they found the remains of the machine on the hotplate.
Fireman Helmut Kniewasser said: "The home-owner had put the small robot on the work surface to clean up some spilled cereal.
"Once the robot had done its job it was switched off but left on the kitchen sideboard. The 44-year-old house owner together with his wife and son then left the house and were not home when the robot set off.
"Somehow it seems to have reactivated itself and made its way along the work surface where it pushed a cooking pot out of the way and basically that was the end of it."
"By the time we arrived, it was just a pile of ash."
In his remarkable 1940 short story Adam Link's Vengeance, Eando Binder explores the difficult area of robot suicide. The story opens with a robot returning to self-awareness after the attempt failed.
To any of you humans committing suicide, your last thought must be that death is after all so sweet and peaceful and desirable. Life is so cruel. And to be brought back from voluntary death at the last second must be a terribly painful experience.
So it was with me, though I am a robot.
My mind blinked back into consciousness. My mechanical brain was instantly alert. Full memory flooded back. What had happened to prevent my death? I had allowed my batteries to drain, and had lain myself flat to pass into oblivion with the last of the electrical energy. Over my head I had fixed a timed clockwork which would within an hour tip over a beaker of strong acid. I had removed my skullpiece so that the acid would bite deeply into my iridium-sponge brain and utterly destroy it...
(Read more about robot suicide)
Also, see this description of a suicidal self-aware computer from All the Troubles in the World (1958), by Isaac Asimov, the depressed robot Marvin from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979) by Douglas Adams and the deeply troubled robot cab driver from A Present for Pat (1952) by Philip K. Dick.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/5/2016)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.
Robot Snake Flies, Fights Fires
Just a prototype, but shows real promise.
IPAL Chinese Robot Babysitter
'But Nanny is different...' - Philip K. Dick, 1955.
DIY Autonomous Robot Detects Trash
'The search-bug detached itself and rolled forward.' - Philip K. Dick
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Soon, Your Tesla Will Follow You Like A Pet
'... follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound.'
Chinese Watrix Gait Recognition Watching You Always
'... those pesky gait-recognition cameras.'
FlexPai Foldable Phone By Royole
'...A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled.'
Oh Yes, We're Building The Rotating Tower In Dubai
'Give me an old-fashioned tetragon on a central pivot every time.'
Bioreactor Helps Legless Frogs Get Their Jump Back
'An alien drug... Used by an insect race... It can repair bones and organs. It can grow new tissue."
Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.'
Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'
LawGeex AI Beats 20 Top Lawyers
'The Law Society has strict rules on the use of pseudo-intelligent software - terrified of putting... its members out of work.'
ROAM Robotics Skiing Exoskeleton
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'
MIT Headset Lets You Communicate Without Speaking
'The subvocal read nerve signals, letting her enter words by just beginning to will them...'
Exploring Oceans Across The Solar System
'Black liquid flashed past the turbotís infrared eyes.'
SWEEPER Robot Peter Piper Picking Peppers
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant, apparently on caterpillar tracks, cutting off the ripe fruit.'
Oil from Algae - Can It Be Done?
'We dump everything that's waste into the tanks, pump the oil off the top.'
Moving Whole Planets, Revisited
There was a lot of work done on this idea over the years.
Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...'
Farming In Space Starts With Mycorrhiza
'The inner leaves were beginning to curl faster than the outer leaves.'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories