STATERS OF THE BLEEDING OBVIOUS have concluded that home assistant robots could be hacked to make weapons that in the wrong hands could destroy us all.
National newspapers with nothing better to fill their pages with because the Theresa-bashing is on summer sabbatical have highlighted some hacking work from IOActive that we'd been ignoring hitherto, that shows vulnerabilities in plastic pals from three top robot makers.
Softbank, UBTech and Universal were all found to have flaws that let researchers take control of the robots and turn them into watching and listening devices.
Let's be clear on this. Yes, of course, it's scary and yes it's possible, but the fact is - just as any inmate knows, anything can be a weapon, and equally, in the connected home, any device can be hacked.
We were resisting publishing this research, because, well, duh, but it seems as though it needs pointing out - if you program a benign robot to stab a tomato with a screwdriver, it will stab a tomato with a screwdriver. See video evidence.
Basically, it's called the Internet of Things. If you can hack one of the things, you can hack all of the things. So... yeah.
IOActive has warned that Pepper, that irritating little French Tweakie thing, running at slow speed towards you could break a bone. Which is fine because if it runs at slow speed then you can get out of the f*cking way.
Still, there are 20,000 of the little sods in circulation and having a few of them running at you that have been hacked for evil - yeah, we'll admit, that's scarier.
The news comes as 116 robotics experts including self-actuated automaton Elon Musk, have sent an open letter to the United Nations requesting a ban on the weaponising of artificially intelligent robots, so we don't end up with a whole Skynet thing going on. Which Musk seems to think we will anyway.
The news that things can be hacked comes after IOActive previously showed that cars, which are also things, can be hacked too. See also Segways. And believe us, when we get the first report of someone being attacked by their Segway, it's going to be our top story. µ
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