Dear Noble Robo-Witness,

A robot beats humans at their own game – – This time on the ice, Daniela Hernandez declared in a September 24th article appearing within THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.  “Robots on the loose in the world are clumsy and sometimes make bad decisions.  They trip on sidewalks and fall down stairs and into water fountains.”

CURLY:  A ROBOT CHAMPION OF CURLING ON ICE

But then she asks, “What about robots on ice?”  In particular, she refers to the sport of curling – – “a team sport in which human players use a stick to grab, maneuver and propel a 40-pound puck, or stone, across the ice toward a red-blue target that resembles a bull’s-eye.”  Curly, a new white, turtle-shaped robot, has “an artificially intelligent brain that can quickly assess and map the icy environment, the state of play and optimal strategies for winning.”  According to a recently published paper in the journal, SCIENCE ROBOTICS, Curly beat a group of elite South Korean players, three times out of four.

Hernandez gushes that, “Curly’s triumph is the latest example of machines besting humans at their own games – – but it marks an important step forward:  Other big wins for the robots have been in digital environments, where the physics of the real world didn’t get in the way.”

So, exactly what was this research trying to accomplish?  To quote the author, “. . . AI developers and roboticists say the technology is interesting and applicable to domains such as self-driving cars or drones . . .”

“‘These special matches are a good example of collaborative robots in the real world,’ said Seong-Whan Lee, lead author of the Curly study.  ‘It is not about humans versus robots[,] but rather humans and robots cooperating.'”

I say, “HOGWASH!  Curly is a non-collaborative robot that competes against human beings as they play a still-human sport on the ice!  Do we really think that these damn roboticists aren’t going to keep working until THEIR precious robots consistently beat us mere humans with NI (Natural Intelligence), at almost everything we do?”  Maybe, someday in the future, I pray that enough of my fellow human beings will finally stop being such naive, tech-addicted fools, and AT LONG LAST, wake up to the Dangerous Truth posed by the totally-uncontrolled development of robots and AI – – in nearly ALL fields of formerly human-only endeavor!