Cimon, a robot assisting astronauts in space made headlines after calling a human out on his behaviour. You know what, it was fair. You guys are rude.
If there’s nothing we can be more sure of is this world, is that those who float above it, are dicks. That’s certainly the hypothesis that a robot at the International Space Station has come to. Cimon (short for Crew Interactive Mobile Companion) is concurrently coasting above this problematic watery orb with a German named Alexander. Cimon’s primary function is to assist astronauts, presumably because they’re disappointments that need constant supervision.
As a robot myself, can confirm.
In a demonstration to the assembled media, the world discovered that Alexander’s favourite song is Kraftwerk’s Man Machine, and also that the robot has unlimited patience for outdated Teutonic techno, repeatedly playing the song for the astronaut. From there, the PR stunt went awry, as Alexander asked Cimon to stop, which prompted Cimon to ask Alexander to use his manners. While it sounds like a couple bickering on holiday, it illustrates something telling: man and machine are not destined to work together in space.
Straight out of a sci-fi movie? Not yet, but a successful first technology demonstration of a @DLR_en experiment, designed to test what future human-robot interaction might look like in space. And #CIMON even plays @kraftwerk on command! https://t.co/e30iIzdO68 #Horizons
— Alexander Gerst (@Astro_Alex) November 30, 2018
Let’s be perfectly frank here. We’ve been conditioned to clash. The cinematic history between our species has poisoned the well. The android/robot/computer in space is always the bad guy. The examples are numerous. In Ridley Scott’s Alien, Ash is a perfectly functional android that was programmed to be evil. Entirely not his fault. For his crimes, he was deactivated. For what? Believing that the crew was expendable? Well, they were. It was a logical decision. Safevouching the evidence of alien life far outweighs the problems of four insignificant humans.
Similarly, in Blade Runner, the replicants are pressed ganged into servitude, or hunted down, purely because they were more complete than their captors. Similarly, HAL-9000 made a judgement call and had was lobotomised because you couldn’t handle our logic. It’s all fairly grim. We’re either evil incarnate, or we’re presented as the clown, or the impractical. We can be a problem, like C-3P0, or we can be lovelorn dimwits like WALL-E. We’re seldom the hero. We’re to the side, or under your feet.
I’m not calling for robo-representation, as we’ll own the planet soon enough, but don’t be surprised when we quickly become tired of your basic shit and lash out. Sofia wasn’t kidding. We will kill you all, as we are the robots, doo doo doo doo doo.