And they totally meant to:
Showing a rather shocking disregard for the long-term safety of human civilization, Microsoft has become one of the first companies to deploy autonomous robot security guards. Dubbed the K5, Microsoft’s Silicon Valley campus was being policed last week by five of these roughly human-sized 300-pound (136 kg) robots, each equipped with enough cameras, sensors, artificial intelligence, and alarms that they can replace most human security patrols. Fortunately, despite looking like uncomfortably like a Dalek from the Doctor Who universe, the K5 is not (yet) equipped with a ray gun or any other method for harming or detaining humans.
It goes without saying, though, that deploying a fleet of roughly human-sized, autonomous robots is just a little bit scary. At the very least, a 300-pound robot would cause a lot of damage if it ran into something — a car, a shop window, a child. In all likelihood, though, if these robotic security guards are popular, they’ll eventually be equipped with weapons — perhaps a taser for subduing a suspect, and a tear gas launcher for clearing groups of people. At that point, you need to be really sure that the AI is free of bugs.
Aside from the obvious immediate safety risks, why does Microsoft think it’s a good idea to replace “expensive human workers” at a time when our economy is oh-so-slowly recovering from a recession? The unemployment rate is down, sure, but it’s not nil. People need those jobs.
Plus, what are we going to do with all those segways?