My first thought: I’d like to hack that. All manner of scenarios flooded my mind. What happens if I just tipped it on its side? Does it send out some kind of SOS to it’s robot overlords? If I’m going up in an elevator with one, what happens if I press all the buttons? Can I give it commands using the touch screen? Maybe make it open up and take whatever is inside it? Can I reprogram it to send its delivery to a different room? After it makes a delivery, can I tell it to pay a visit to another room? Reading further about this robot, I’ve learned it uses a wireless connection to talk to, among other things, the software on the elevator to control where it wants to go. So that means the elevator is accepting commands via a wireless network? Can I send the elevator commands too? Can I send the robot a false response from the elevator so it gets off at the wrong floor? What if I wrap the whole thing in foil to block any wireless signals from reaching the thing at all? Can I force it into some kind of debug or developer mode? Can I plug into it with my laptop? Can I install Linux on it?
Then I thought… is this the robot equivalent of sexism? If I see a particular attractive woman, that initial “I’d like to … enjoy her company” thought that crosses the mind, is that in the same zip code as looking at a robot and thinking “I’d like to hack that”? Is that objectification … of an object? And if so, is it a bad thing since it’s an actual object? Would humanizing an object be as incorrect as objectifying a human?
That I was listening to The Electric Lady at the same time may have influenced these thoughts a bit.
Perhaps we’re living in the Mad Men equivalent era of human/robot relations, where humans drink hard and treat robots as objects created only to fulfill personal desire. Awesome! The time to abuse what is acceptable, but in the future be seen as abhorrent, behavior is now. Grab a robot and hack it. Hack it hard.