Robot dog manages flock of sheep. Video sparks uneasy thoughts among people

Published on May 22, 2020 01:09 PM IST
The video has sparked varied reactions among people.
The image shows the robot dog named Spot herding sheep.(YouTube/ Rocos - Robot Operations Platform)
The image shows the robot dog named Spot herding sheep.(YouTube/ Rocos - Robot Operations Platform)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByTrisha Sengupta

A video, featuring an autonomous canine, a robot dog, has created quite a stir online. Shared on technology company Rocos’ YouTube page, the video shows the use of the robot named spot, made by Boston Dynamics, in the agricultural industry - precisely, in managing a flock of sheep.

While the technological advancement amazed some, most netizens didn’t warm up to this shepherd robot. A few also wrote that this is the kind of innovation which will result in ‘AI robot apocalypse’ in future. For the uninitiated, the term describes a hypothetical scenario where AI overpowers humans to become the dominant form of intelligence on Earth.

“The use of autonomous robots in agriculture is increasing the efficiency of food production. Robots, like Spot from Boston Dynamics, increase accuracy in yield estimates, relieve the strain of worker shortages, and create precision in farming,” the company wrote and shared the video.

Since being shared a few days ago, the video has already garnered over 3.6 lakh views and tons of comments. While a few praised the innovation, others were not-so-happy.

“This is amazing,” wrote a YouTube user. “Herding sheep now, but herding people later. An army of armored and armed robot dogs would be formidable,” commented another. “That moment you realise you’ll be the sheep,” wrote a third.

A few were also reminded of a specific episode about robot dogs from the Netflix series Black Mirror, a fictional futuristic anthology series that shows how technology manipulates human behaviour.

“We’re close to Metalhead, Black Mirror is actually a glimpse into the future,” expressed a commenter. “I’m afraid because I watched the Black Mirror,” wrote another.

The dog has been programmed with “remote mission” capabilities which will allow them to operate in hard-to-reach hillsides, reports Evening Standard.

“Our customers are augmenting their human workforces to automate physical processes that are often dull, dirty, or dangerous,” Rocos chief executive David Inggs told Evening Standard.

What do you think of the robot dog herding sheep?

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