Yesterday, during an online account registration, the receipt of a ‘I’m not a robot?’ message set me thinking.
To clarify, witnessing the inquiry made me think about robots – It wasn’t a trigger to thinking in general. I can confirm that in the immediate seconds prior to the cyborg notions, GJ Strachan was contemplating several cranial notions.
I’m sure anyone who uses the internet will themselves have received these ‘I’m not a robot’ inquiries. A captcha message aimed at thwarting mass website account registration by pre-written scripts (bots) designed by unscrupulous techies.
This step of the registration process a safeguard necessitating human interaction for the application to proceed. The user asked to select pictures (from nine photos rendered on that particular browser page), for example, picking all bearing traffic signals or cars. A step negating against mischief introduced by hackers pre-written code, ie robots.
Anyhow, witnessing this message was a catalyst to mulling over how life’d play out if robots literally were hamstrung if confronted by a picture Captcha page. Real life episodes where they were asked to identify shots including traffic lights, buses or taxis.
Scenarios, I concluded, which’d have both positive and negative impacts upon human life. On the negative side of things, with widespread use of robots within the manufacturing industry, it seemed to me sabotage of those robotic production lines would increase.
For instance, if someone had a beef with a manufacturer, and was of the mindset to exhibit such irk, they could render their nemeses robotic production line idle by confronting the coded machinery with an A4 captcha page.
Far fetched I know, and admittedly I’ve put little thought into the semantics, but hey I’m only dabbling with artistic licence in this fictional yarn – Give me a break!…… Anyhow, if frequently making up any old bollocks is good enough for the likes of Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Matt Hancock it’s good enough for me.
Anyhow, on the plus side, knowing robots had this Achilles heel would prove useful at perhaps ensuring they don’t take over communities, like in the 1973 movie Westworld. This photo kryptonite ensuring the human race have an effective deterrent against a potential robotic coup de tat.
The following fictional scene playing out in my garden as I’m confronted by robots with evil aspirations of a global take over…… Including my slaughter:-
Robot 76L (after tasering yours truly; leaving me prostrate on terra firma) – “Ahah Strachan, we meet at last…… You don’t seem so smug now, you flailing humanoid!”
Strachan (in pain, attempting to remain stoic) – “I hadn’t realise I’d ever been smug…. Although, admittedly I was a bit pleased with myself after learning how the whistle the Hungarian national anthem.”
Robot 98C (unimpressed with the humans tooting accolade, confrontationally retorts) – “Your Carpathian Basin anthem whistles won’t save you from your next destination! Isn’t that true Robot 76L (his fellow automation”….. Followed by unhinged manic robotic laughter. by both
Strachan (floundering, but just about hiding his understandable concern) – “Why?…. Where’s my next destination?…. Oh god, don’t say we’re not going to Hull or we?”
Robot 76L (sneeringly) “It’s spelt similar to Hull….. Only with a different vowel after the H.”
Strachan (continuing with his misguided ‘sarcasm is the best policy’ strategy “Where Holl?….. I’ve never heard of the place!”
Robot 98C (after a roll of the eyes to display irk at the human’s lukewarm gags) “Make your final wishes before we assign you to hell, Strachan!”……. Followed by further unhinged manic robotic laughter.
At this point Strachan decides to play his trump card. Smugly, pulling a folded piece of A4 paper containing nine different shots of American highways from his trouser pocket. Followed by asking the two robots “Ok you guys, tell me which of the pictures contains a pedestrian crossing!“
Realising they’ve not got the wherewithal to answer the conundrum and proceed with Strachan’s execution, the robots begin melting, events accompanied with their torture screams of “Noooooo!”……. This time it’s Strachan’s turn to laugh manically.
Just prior to Robot 98C’s mouth disappearing, he ruefully tells Strachan “See, I told you you’re a smug b*st*rd!!”