Another Terminator.

Never being a paper to miss out on an opportunity to hyperbolise new robot technologies, The Daily Mail have done it again, welcoming yet another Technological Threat to Humankind on its pages today.

Despite, as they themselves report, the Atlas robot being

built to help respond to disasters, such as the Fukushima nuclear reaction meltdown in Japan in 2011

and as they also begrudgingly accept, it still lacks a brain,

it looks like it could easily star in the Terminator films. 

In case the photo accompanying the press release doesn’t look scary enough, they’ve even helpfully supplied a picture to better illustrate why you completely and absolutely need to be afraid of this new threat to human existence!

Can you spot which is the new (real) robot designed to help in emergency situations, and the humanoid machine (fantasy) designed by Skynet to wipe humanity from the face of the earth? (No? Hint: look at the eyes.) [Editor’s note: I wonder how much The Mail pays per year to use that photo? They certainly try to get their money’s worth.]
The Mail are not, of course, alone in proclaiming the development of the ‘real-life Terminator’ (though they just happen to be the news source I hate the most, so this is all very convenient.)
This could, and probably should, all be written off as more of The Mail’s pathetic paranoia and dissemination of misinformation, except for the uncomfortable fact that Atlas has been designed by DARPA, the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, whose explicit mission is to ‘maintain the technological superiority of the U.S. military’ and whose other projects include unmanned aerial drones, more unmanned aerial drones, yet more unmanned aerial drones, unnamed anti-submarine vessels, exoskeletons for soldiers… you get the idea.

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