OK, Robots, Now It’s Personal

A robot writer the word robot

One of the robot scribes pens his own name. Why are we teaching them to write?!?! (Screen shot from http://youtu.be/5hqNi2S4rlM)

When I started writing at Little Utopia, I thought my robot preoccupation was nothing more than a funny, harmless gag. Look at this robot block Lionel Messi’s penalty kicks. Let’s all get a laugh. Haha, right?

And, sure, maybe as I found myself writing more and more about robots, I found that my obsession was becoming a little bit more based in fear. But not really, I convinced myself. It was mostly a gimmick that allowed me to write about something when there wasn’t much to talk about that week.

Even at my most alarmist, I was always able to reason myself away from the robot conspiracy narrative. No, the robots won’t soon gain sentience, I told myself. There hasn’t been like a million movies and books written about robots taking over the Earth and subjugating humanity. Everything is fine. *Takes deep breaths into a brown paper bag*

But not anymore.


The robots are after my job the thing I do for free on the internet, and that is unacceptable.

About three weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times was the first news source to publish an article about an earthquake that had taken place about five miles from Westwood, California. On the surface, that’s not a big deal. The Los Angeles Times has fast writers. Whatevs, man. Well, after doing a little True Detective-style digging, I began to uncover the ugly truth. There’s a reason their writers are so fast: because they’re robots.

OK, not all their writers are robots. But the one that penned the earthquake article was. And they all will be soon.

And when that day comes, we can all thank Ken Schwencke, a journalist and programmer. Schwencke created an algorithm that generates an article when an earthquake occurs and uses another algorithm to produce articles on the city’s crime. I can honestly say I never saw this coming. I never would have predicted that it would be one of our own who would betray us to the machines.

Et tu, Brute?


CharlieCharlie Crespo (@Little_Utopia) is the editor-in-chief of Little Utopia.

Previously from Charlie Crespo:
Viral Video of the Week: Highlights on a Budget
Please, People, Vaccinate Your Children
It was the Best of Times, It was the Nelly(est) of Times
Viral Video of the Week: More Local News? More Local News!
Hit the Road, Jack


5 responses to “OK, Robots, Now It’s Personal

  1. In the words of Will Smith (I, Robot) “Sonny get the nanites… You have so got to die” Charlie just think about if our fears collide robot zombies!!!! Dun dah dooon!!!! Let’s get a machine to start writing a screen play ASAP.

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