Sunday, April 26, 2009

Monkeys and Robots: Mortal Enemies or Deadly Allies?

BOULDER, Colorado -- Since the dawn of time, monkeys and robots have had a special enmity for one another, and mankind has been trapped in the middle. Robots represent the triumph of the modern - cold, heartless machines unencumbered by emotions or death, able to construct a utopian future devoid of imperfection. Monkeys, meanwhile, represent man's evolutionary past, beasts possessing feral strength and driven by primitive instinct.

Their battle has raged on, but humans could always take comfort in the knowledge that should one group gain the upper hand, we could ally with the other to prevent them from overtaking the earth. Our technology could be used to keep the ape menace at bay, but should our machines turn on us, our primate bretheren would help us vanquish the steel beasts.

Now, someone has been foolish enough to combine these two terrible forces, and the survival of civilization is threatened.

Last year, scientists announced that they had successfully wired a robotic arm to the brain of a rhesus monkey, who was then able to manipulate that arm through thought alone. Impulse-driven beasts can now hurl feces and molest themselves with the power of robotic steel limbs. Then, just last week, the Robot Monkey World Chimpionship was held in Brooklyn. Contestants constructed battle-ready robots with the fighting capabilities of savage chimps (well, they also had wheels - so perhaps wheelchair-bound chimps) and tossed them into the ring for combat.

You know not with what dark forces you meddle, Brooklyn hipsters.

Hollywood has taught us what robots are capable of - they can be policemen, boxers, or even dinosaurs. And thanks to work of Karl Pilkington we now know that monkeys can perform nearly every task a human can, including launching small businesses, piloting a spacecraft, and rescuing people from a burning building.

All monkeys will eventually attack humans - this we know to be true (the war may have already begun). We also know that all robots will eventually become self-aware and turn on their creators (I defy you to name one robot that hasn't done so). So, do we really want to be faced with a kill-crazy army of robots and monkeys? Soon we may be enslaved under the rule of President Executron and Vice-President Zaius. Think about that on your Monday morning, and despair.

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