Speed Reads

Robots

Stephen Colbert is terrified of our future black lesbian robot overlords

To celebrate this week's big breakthrough in artificial intelligence — a chatbot posing as a 13-year-old passed the Turing Test — Stephen Colbert freaked out about the imminent subjugation of humanity by our cyborg overlord, with a hefty dose of minority resentment. Specifically, Colbert dedicated a good part of Tuesday night's Colbert Report to the under-covered push for human rights for humanoid robots — an idea being seriously promoted by billionaire Sirius satellite radio inventor Martine Rothblatt.

Colbert traveled to Lincoln, Vermont, to visit Rothblatt and her bodiless android creation, Bina — a (literal) talking head she created in the image of her wife, Bina Aspen Rothblatt. The Rothblatts want to upload human thoughts, memories, and beliefs into android bodies, and Colbert took mock umbrage at Martine's choice of model: "We've always known that robots are soulless killing machines, but now they come fully uploaded with centuries of minority rage and resentment." Absurdist fearmongering at its finest. Let's hope nobody takes Colbert seriously. --Peter Weber