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Killer Bot Support Line

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I had so much fun with my "Guns for Bots" blog the other day that I thought I had to follow-up. The premise? Suppose you are the first company to produce a fully autonomous armed robot. What would your development and support system look like? It's one thing to let your users take IE7 beta out for a test spin, but quite another to hand out free copies of "Assault Commander Mark VII" to whoever signs up.

"Hello. Thank you for calling Microsoft, where we not only take you where you want to go, we charge you to get there."
"Yes. I am having a problem with my new Assault Commander."
"What seems to be the trouble?"
"Well. He was working fairly well the first day, but this morning he attacked my child's birthday party with a chainsaw."
"Have you tried turning the Commander off and back on again?"
"We tried, but it was hard to get to the switch. Once he got the shotgun out, he killed everybody who got near him."
"I see. We've never had this problem before. Can you tell me what kind of shotgun he has?"
"It's the Winchester 12-gauge, over and under."
"Well that's your problem, then. The Commander Mark VII was never intended to use an over and under shotgun. I'm afraid you've voided your warranty."
"We have?"
"Yes. You will need to contact the maker of the shotgun to ask them about compatibility problems. We can't support other people's products."
"But he shot the clown during the magic act. And now he's chasing the dog around the neighborhood."
"I'm sorry sir, but there's not much more I can do on this."
"(long pause, then sigh) Well. Okay."
"Is there anything else I can help you with?"
"Well (gun blast and screams heard in distance). There was a another problem we were having with Windows 2015, (BLAM!) but I guess that can wait."
"Then thanks for your call! You're always important to us. And remember: we not only build your life for you, we also have ways of dealing with your complaints."


You are truly a "man of the people" for bringing attention to this important issue! Ralph Nader has been too busy working for 0.00037% of the vote over the past 10 years to notice the growing public safety risk from armed robots. We can only hope this autonomous weaponry has as much heart and soul as the Iron Giant.

Funny, but with serious considerations. I don't think we are ready for that level of automation. While I would like for a robot to help me with my housework, I would be afraid it would go haywire and tear down the house or put the cat in the washing machine. The complexities of life are great and I don't believe programmers are ready to tackle them.

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This page contains a single entry by Daniel published on June 24, 2005 7:55 PM.

Reasons Off-Shore Deals Go Bust was the previous entry in this blog.

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Daniel Markham