Robot or Not? #274 November 13, 2023

Avoid All Robots

Some timely news regarding a university warning its community members to “avoid all robots.”

Listen to this episode (4 minutes)
00:00 00:00

Download file (3 M)

Show Notes

Jason: John, I’ve got some breaking robot related news, got a link literally just half an hour ago before we recorded this.

What are the chances? Because we only record this two or three times a year. From our friend Shelly, it’s a story on Ars Technica with a headline, Do Not Open Robots, warns Oregon State, amid college food delivery bomb prank. These are those college…

Campus delivery robots that we said weren’t robots. And then it turns out people who were involved said they might be a little more autonomous than we thought. And so they might be robots. Anyway, I just want to read, Bomb Threat in Starship, that’s the name of the robots, Food Delivery Robots, reads the post from Oregon State University.

Do not open robots. Avoid all robots until further notice. And then in a follow up post they said, We are remotely isolating robots in a safe location. And later they were put back in service because it [00:01:00] was just a prank. I just don’t know if you have any feelings about this. I enjoy being told to avoid all robots.

We live in an era where somebody can dead seriously say avoid all robots until further notice.

John: It’s kind of a strange phrasing. Especially with not all the qualifiers, it assumes that you understand that these robots are the kind that can be opened, like that they’re essentially containers. Right? So, not all robots can be opened in that way. Maybe you would see a warning that says, Do not open robots.

No user serviceable parts inside. As in, don’t open the robots. That’s like dissecting them. They should remain closed. You wouldn’t like it if a robot opened you, would you?

Jason: no. I’ve seen a movie

John: not at all. In any way, probably. So, do not open robots. Yeah, do not open food delivery robots. Compartments? I guess they just wanted to cover all bases.

Do not open robots.

Jason: And they don’t, all robots, right? Like, I imagine these are the only robots people would come in contact with, but to be clear about it, just avoid all robots until further

John: Avoid opening them. I mean, it doesn’t say not to be near them. If

Jason: No, it does. It says do not open robots. Avoid all robots until further

John: Okay, all right,

Jason: Stay away from all

John: be need some kind of perimeter like as if there’s a bomb inside like I’m avoid Do I just step to the side on the sidewalk? I’m still not safe from the the robot

Jason: got to stay away from the robots. I love that we live in a world where that. So anyway, Oregon State University had a robot scare,

John: guess you can’t go grocery shopping then either because that big googly eyed tall Grocery robots gonna be there

Jason: Yeah. If you’re in Corvallis, if you went to like the Safeway and they had that supermarket robot, really Oregon State University would suggest that you avoid it.

John: Yeah, this is a big thing on college campuses, which I learned from, one of my kids being in college, they’re taking a college course this summer. If you get a college email address these days, you should be prepared for, I mean, setting aside the obvious, like, you know, emails about going to college and everything.

If you actually have a college email address, what you get are security alerts and safety alerts constantly, just constantly like a scary looking bird landed on the quad. Everyone stay away from it.

Jason: Sure.

John: Baby moose, please. As we were just at a, on a college tour this weekend, and one of the stories that got told on the tour was that the, in the security things, they mentioned that it was a baby moose and told everyone like, don’t go near the baby moose because you don’t want to mess with nature, blah, blah, blah.

But of course, as soon as they sent out an email to the entire student population about a baby moose, everybody showed up to look at the baby moose.

Jason: Of course. That’s

John: Another land grant university, a phrase I don’t think I’d ever heard in my life until this weekend.

Jason: Yeah, land grant university. Now it’s about land grants too. I think the idea was that you were, taking essentially government property and saying we’re going to set you up to build a, a university in this space and it allows them to have the space for a campus and develop part of.

What was otherwise maybe a not developed part of the state, but it does lead to universities being in far away places like Corvallis, Oregon and Pullman, Washington or Burlington, Vermont. Yeah, exactly.

John: long drive. [00:04:00] Although it’s fun having, say, we are a land grant university, right after they do the land acknowledgement, that so we granted, the university was granted this land after we stole it from the Native Americans.

Jason: That’s right. It’s just a shell game. Well, granted, we were granted it, but granted, we also, you know, took it. So

John: We stole it and then we granted it.

Jason: yeah. That’s the, that’s how it works here in the old U. S. of A. Anyway, do not open robots until further notice. That’s my recommendation.