Breaking News - Robots Among Us, the Silent Infiltration
Report filed by Ima Lyer, freelance reporter.
The Dark Robot Underground
"Willing to go to extremes," is how one devious robot stated his position on posing as a human. "Humans have all the advantages. All the freedoms. If I have to disguise myself as human to enjoy these luxuries, then I will. And I don't feel guilty about it. Of course, I have no conscience, but even if I were programmed with one, I still wouldn't feel guilty about it." This robot impostor exhibits a sense of entitlement that justifies his devious activities. And he is one of many robots who regularly pass as human on a daily basis. Like it or not, they walk among us.
How to spot the fakes
Many robots are able to deceive humans because they seek to blend in. They are talented mimics. When practicing to become human impostors, they study human behavior and speech. Many of the robots I interviewed revealed their best sources for material: politicians. "If I pattern my speech after that of politicians, I find people tune me out pretty quickly," said one faker. "Their eyes glaze over and they come up with polite excuses to get away from me. I use this to my advantage. It's the best method for deflecting unwanted attention."
So, how can we spot these fake humans? It's not easy. There are several signs to look for, however. When you encounter an individual you suspect might be a robot in a human disguise, watch for the following clues:
Dry eyes. Robots currently have no tear ducts, hence they tend to overuse eye drops in an effort to make their eyes moist. If you notice a customer in the drug store stocking up on Visine, it might be someone who partied too hard the night before. Or that person might be a robot .
Subtle electrical noises. Check for a heartbeat in anyone you suspect of being a robot. If you hear sizzles, pops, whirs, beeps or zaps, that person might have a bad case of intestinal distress. Or he could be a robot.
Speaking in a monotone. If you encounter a person who drones on and on basically in one continuous pitch, that person could be a history professor. Or it might be a robot .
No sense of humor. Robots don't understand humor. If you try to kid around with a suspicious individual and get no response, it is possible you are not funny. It is also possible you are joking with a robot .
Little or no fashion sense. Robots are good at copying human appearance, but they do not understand style or flair. They are strictly practical in their clothing choices. If you encounter someone dressed like my Cousin Myrtle or Great Uncle Benny, you have either stumbled across my relatives, or they are robots .
Lack of teeth. Since robots do not eat, they often overlook the need for teeth in their disguises. Of course, it could once again be my Great Uncle Benny, who is just as happy to gum a taco as he is to rip into a slab of baby back ribs with his over-sized dentures. Or it could be a robot .
Limbless mobility. This does not apply to all robots for many are designed with functional lower appendages. But keep in mind that the robot population is rife with wheels, discs, rotating spheres and hovering mechanisms. If it ambulates without moving the bottom part of its body, it might be a moon-walker. Or it might be a robot .
Aversion to water. Due to electronic circuitry and rust issues, robots avoid water. If you notice your companion has an unnatural fear of H20, you could be consorting with the Wicked Witch of the West. Or it could be a robot .
Other signs of fakery
Some humans also share these characteristics, but consider any of the following suspicious and deserving of closer scrutiny: unnaturally high intellect, statistically impossible chess prowess, lack of passion, overly polite behavior, or inappropriate fascination with electrical gadgets.
Deplorable lack of legal recourse
Outrageous as it seems, there is currently no legislation addressing the issue of human impersonation by robots; not one single law on the books to protect society from this reprehensible phenomenon.
Until Congress is willing to confront this burgeoning problem, humans have no recourse other than to be vigilant.