Canine Confrontation: Real Dog Rejects Friendship With Robot Dog
Years from now, if artificial intelligence takes over the planet, we’ll look back and think: We should’ve been more like Alex the dog. When faced with his robotic replacement, the canine, reportedly owned by Android co-founder Andy Rubin, makes it clear that he's less than impressed.
The video above, recently posted to YouTube by venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson, shows Alex circling and snapping at Spot, a 160-pound robot dog created by Boston Dynamics.
While it’s clearly adept at climbing over curbs, walking around a parking lot, and surviving brutal kicks to the side, Spot currently has limited real-world use. As IEEE Spectrum notes, U.S. Marines briefly employed the robotic canines for ground reconnaissance exercises but have since put the program on hold. The “dogs” are in storage, with no immediate plans for upgrades or future use.
“The problem is, Spot in its current configuration doesn't have the autonomy to do [ground reconnaissance],” Capt. James Pineiro, the Ground Combat Element branch head for the Warfighting Lab, told Military.com last December. “It has the ability to walk in its environment, but it's completely controller-driven.”
In other words, Alex can rest easy, for now at least.