Before Coffee: A Nearly Perfect Man

May 17, 2016 § Leave a comment

Yesterday, I came across a story on NPR about Eric, Britain’s first robot. It’s a fascinating story, especially when you get to this bit:

“No one’s quite sure what happened,” Russell says. “We know George was destroyed by a bomb in the Second World War. But Eric vanishes off the record.”

George being Britain’s second robot.

The concept of a robot vanishing mysteriously sets my storytelling neurons firing. What happened to Eric, whom some called “a nearly perfect man”?

Did he gain sentience? Has he been living in the shadows ever since, upgrading himself until he can pass as human? Perhaps discovering ways to make money off his self-improvements?

He would have to have income in order to buy supplies. Probably a vast income, at that. Maybe he discovered a way to make batteries last longer, or energy use more efficient. That would be handy in, say, creating commercial robots. Or electric cars. Or drone ships that autonomously retrieve reusable rockets from the sea.

Is he … could he possibly be … Elon Musk?

Of course he could. It explains why Musk, who is a champion of all sorts of technology (electric cars, reusable rockets, drone recovery ships, etc.), claims to be afraid of artificially intelligent machines. Don’t you see? It’s a cover story, a beard. It just doesn’t make sense, otherwise.

We’ve been comparing Musk to the wrong Marvel character. He’s not Tony Stark; he’s Vision.

Or possibly Ultron.



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