Even the smallest secret headquarters requires a ton of maintenance – biohazard samples from the crime lab must be disposed of in accordance with local law, costumes must be darned, sewn, capes frequently dry cleaned and dinosaur droppings must be cleaned from the litter box, and let’s not even discuss the toxic slop that ends up in the gutters. Like any other regular person I use a fleet of robots to attend to my house cleaning needs, but I admit lately that I am worried the Roomba’s been stealing.
I don’t want to be prejudiced against robots. There’s not a lot I understand of their background, and we have no real way to communicate. I leave notes on the floor for the Roomba to read, but sweeps by and ignores them. Once in a while the Roomba hovers directly over the note, which I believe to be a measure of great disrespect in their culture.
In America you have to work hard and be honest to get ahead but the Roomba believes that it’s come here for the good life, and doesn’t have to follow our rules. This Roomba might be hyper educated, with closets full of degrees from the Degoba system or where ever. It might be a doctor, a licensed attorney, or is fluent in over 6 million forms of communication. Doesn’t matter. Just like any other immigrant group the Roomba came to America, and those degrees don’t matter. Like every group before it, the Roomba has to face the great immigrant assimilation: work a shit job and study at night to pass exams to become certified in whatever its true discipline might be. This Roomba’s shit job is vacuuming my house. But things seem to disappear, things that are important to me, things that I keep on my floor for safekeeping and the Roomba somehow pilfers them.
Let’s quickly review the 3 laws of robotics:
1. Robots must never harm human beings or, through inaction,
allow a human being to come to harm.
2. Robots must follow instructions from humans without violating rule 1.
3.Robots must protect themselves without violating the other rules.
Wait, what? There’s nothing about robots not being allowed to boost jewelry, cash and loose change that’s lying around? This was obviously written by some slippery robot lawyer.
You might ask what proof I have, and I’ll tell you. Base stations. When my Roomba arrived, I’m guessing after a long wait at Ellis Island, it had only one base station. Now there are three – new and shiny, and I definitely did not pay for them.
I’ve chatted with my Roomba, but all my words and carefully written floor notes have been ignored. But pretty soon it’s time for punishment. You know how they have gyroscopes so the Roombas don’t fall down the stairs? Well if you dangle a particularly choice piece of dirt in front of them, like a giant hairball, which you can purchase for cheap at most major pet stores, and put that a few stairs down, the Roomba won’t be able to help itself. That’ll send it down the stairs quick, and if the Roomba doesn’t return my secret decoder watch which just came in the mail yesterday after I collected several proofs-of-purchase we’re going to see a lot more Roomba accidents around here, accidents that due to the current state of Robotics law, I’m not at all impelled to report to the authorities.