Sunday, June 26, 2011

Robots in the News

President Obama autographs an unusually benign robot
President Obama was pillaged by deep blasts of mockery this weekend from the GOP's prospective presidential primary pool, following remarks he made Friday at the National Robotics Engineering Center at Carnegie Mellon University. In order to promote advanced manufacturing in the United States, he announced a seventy million dollar initiative to the group "to accelerate the development and use of robots in the United States that work beside, or cooperatively with, people".
"You might not know this, but one of my responsibilities as commander-in-chief is to keep an eye on robots," Obama said in his introduction, hoping to build some rapid robot repartee, "And I'm pleased to report that the robots you manufacture here seem peaceful. At least for now."

Leading Republicans responded with a variety of reasons to poke scorn at the president's proposal, with across the board agreement that robots
cost too much and are, quite frankly, dangerous.
Sarah Palin launched the first broadside Saturday afternoon when she tweeted "RU serious?? NFW!! Robots R good 4 attacking earthlings, bad 4 America!!!!". Jon Huntsman then briefly addressed the issue on Saturday night while appearing as a guest panelist on the 'McLaughlin Group'. Huntsman was surprised by John McLaughlin when during the Lightning Round he was asked "Robots - funny topic or serious threat?" to which he deftly replied "Both". By the time of the Sunday Talk shows the subject of robots was everywhere, including all four segments of FOX News Sunday.
"Seventy million dollars?" an incredulous Michele Bachmann said to FNS host Chris Wallace. "That sort of reckless spending is frightening at a time when the president is trying to destroy Medicare and cut Social Security benefits. But then, robots are inherently frightening, unpredictable and dangerous to humanity. President Obama says they appear to be peaceful at the moment, but anyone who's seen a science fiction movie can tell you the peril that they pose." Wallace then asked Bachmann if she was a flake, to which she responded in the negative.
"Robots are old technology and robots are bad technology," Newt Gingrich proclaimed on the next segment, which Wallace introduced by saying that he just loved talking about robots.. "The real future is ecto-skeletons, which is something most leading technologists agree on. Why would you want to work with a robot when you can be a robot? It defies all logic."
"The sort of robots President Obama is talking about would take American jobs," Tim Pawlenty observed on 'Face the Nation'. "They'll be competing with folks directly, and who can compete with a robot? They're stronger than us, they don't mind doing the repetitive tasks, and they'll work for next to nothing. That should be the good news, but unfortunately it's not, because those robots will all be beholden to Obama. Either he'll have an ownership stake in them or have them under government control, so it's just a matter of time before they'll be protected by the union. That won't happen under a Pawlenty presidency."
Appearing on 'Meet the Press', Donald Trump, possibly pondering a third party run, took the topic in a very different although imminently predictable direction.

"It would make perfect sense that Obama is himself a robot," said the blustery windbag. "They could have built him anywhere at any time, which goes a long way to explain the whole birth certificate issue. And I'll tell you something else, Trump industries could have built a much better robot president than Obama."

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