Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Robotics AI

People Will Follow a Robot In an Emergency - Even If It's Wrong ( 172

An anonymous reader writes: Imagine a future where instead of siting through fire alarms with your fingers in your ears, a robot come comes to greet you and guide you out of the building. Researchers at Georgia Tech created an emergency guidance robot and then looked at whether or not people would follow the robot during an emergency. 'The research was designed to determine whether or not building occupants would trust a robot designed to help them evacuate a high-rise in case of fire or other emergency. But the researchers were surprised to find that the test subjects followed the robot's instructions – even when the machine's behavior should not have inspired trust.' The robot first guided people to a meeting room. In some conditions the robot broke along the way to the meeting room. Then, unbeknownst to the subjects, the researchers filled the hallway with smoke and set off the fire alarms. Given the option of going out the way they came or following the robot down an unknown hall, nearly all followed the robot.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

People Will Follow a Robot In an Emergency - Even If It's Wrong

Comments Filter:
  • Okay by me (Score:4, Funny)

    by in10se ( 472253 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @11:11AM (#51614881) Homepage

    I don't mind. It leaves the stairways less crowded for the smart people to get out first.

    • by Spazmania ( 174582 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @11:32AM (#51615055) Homepage

      If the researchers had designed a correct control for the experiment, they'd know that robots have nothing to do with it. Milgram's Obedience Experiment 50 years ago tells us exactly what happened: people deemed the robot to be an authority, thus followed it uncritically.

      • by TWX ( 665546 )
        I'm curious of the makeup of the group now. As someone tasked with fixing technology I know that it doesn't usuall fail unless it's actually in-service, and the more cutting-edge and the more pressed for service it is, the more likely it is to fail when it's needed most.
        • It's not more likely to fail; it's given more samples. A Web server doesn't fail in testing; then you put it up to the scrutiny of millions of requests per hour, and it cracks under the load. The CPU heats up in a way it wouldn't under testing because it was only ever driven at 50% for 2 hours straight. The software is exposed to requests you didn't test for. 1 in 100 million goes quick when you're doing 10 million attempts per hour.

      • Most likely they also deemed it more interesting to follow an "emergency guide robot" during a fake emergency than stand outside like idiots during a fake emergency.

      • I just watch the movie "Experimenter" on Netflix the other day. I think there might be a subtle difference between that and this. In the Milgram experiment many people did question the experimenter about giving more shocks when the person in the room was yelling on stopped making noises. When told they had to continue they did so by assuming the responsibility of anything going wrong was on the experimenter and not on them. One person in the movie even said something to that effect but I don't know how real
    • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

      I think it's mostly a matter of laziness, people are too lazy to think for themselves or to think at all, this is why Trump is doing so well, he appeals to people who don't think, they are an embarrassment to the species.

  • Robots? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by I4ko ( 695382 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @11:12AM (#51614883)
    How about instead just use the robots to build the buildings out of concrete and rebar, so you are not having to deal with fires and fire alarms all the time, and for smaller houses build them from prefab panels or real actual stone and brick? I grew up in a country with concrete buildings and fire was the only disaster nobody was afraid of, as it practically never happened. You could have a localized fire in a room, or in a trash can, but that's about it, and all you need it is to kick it or throw a blanket over it. Concrete just doesn't burn.
    • How about instead just use the robots to build the buildings out of concrete and rebar, so you are not having to deal with fires and fire alarms all the time, and for smaller houses build them from prefab panels or real actual stone and brick?

      Look into Earth Bags. Short form, burlap sacks (or continuous tubes) filled with earth are laid in courses one over another with a line of barbed wire in between which provides tensile strength. Then you plaster it over with whatever. Cost, virtually nothing. Labor, significant but there are various ways to reduce it. Availability, very very high; basically the same soil composition as rammed earth is desirable, but a slightly broader range works because of the additions. Lends itself mostly to round struct

    • Re:Robots? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @11:32AM (#51615063)

      Concrete just doesn't burn.

      Concrete decomposes under high heat. It is largely a hydrate, and watch out when temps get high enough for it to start releasing it's water. A couple years ago, a fuel truck hit and destroyed a bridge in Harrisburg, PA. Not so much from the impact, but the fire damage to the concrete and steel [] []

      And once the concrete is damaged, the steel isn't far behind.

      Your basic premise is pretty much true, but it's as long as the fire doesn't have an external fuel source.

      • Re:Robots? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bluefoxlucid ( 723572 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @12:38PM (#51615685) Homepage Journal

        The best part is steel melts around 2400 degrees, but it loses over 80% of its strength around 800 degrees. If you heat up steel beams with a diesel fire, they'll get a little hot, but they won't melt; if you put several hundred tonnes of concrete on those steel beams and heat them up, they'll buckle, and the building will collapse.

        This leads to idiots skimping on insulation for main columns, since any fire that could melt steel beams would compromise the structure anyway. It also leads to engineers designing steel beams with integrated piping systems and running the fire suppression system's water feed through the main column as a built-in cooling system: when there's a fire, the columns get constant cooling via water flowing through them.

        Nothing is stronger than steel, but you have to decide what you want out of it. You want heat resistance and excessively high tensile strength? Go inconel. You want corrosion resistance and high hardness? VG-10, with vanadium carbide to change the electrical affinity of the lattice structure such that it won't accept negative ions--it won't oxidize and it will somewhat resist acid. You want cheap and serviceable? 440 stainless. Light-weight? Go with a titanium alloy, but you're sacrificing some strength. Steel bicycles cycle infinitely, as almost any grade of steel can flex over and over again forever as long as it doesn't bend to the point of permanent deformation; aluminum weakens with each vibration, eventually cracking wholesale.

        Price, performance, trade-offs. Buildings shift and flex--high-rise buildings wobble in the wind--so you want something that can cycle and that's flexible. You want something hard, with high compressive and tensile strength, but also low cost. If you want fire resistance, you'd better integrate thermal controls--insulation or a water coolant loop--because you can't build steel columns out of inconel.

        • by delt0r ( 999393 )
          Plenty of things are stronger than steel. For any given definition of stronger.
    • While I do agree that concrete buildings are harder to burn down, that doesn't mean that they're immune to fire, especially when you're dealing with skyscrapers filled with office supplies. Case in point: World Trade Center, made primarily of concrete, steel, and glass. Granted, the fires were not solely fueled by the contents originally in those buildings, but those fires prevented people from reaching escapes nonetheless, and the concrete didn't help things at all.

    • by arth1 ( 260657 )

      Concrete just doesn't burn.

      No, but it loses structural integrity at an even lower temperature than wood does. If there's oxygen present, wood will fare worse, but if there isn't, concrete crumbles first.
      Concrete that has been exposed to temperatures above 300C is generally considered structurally damaged and should be replaced.

    • by jafiwam ( 310805 )

      How about instead just use the robots to build the buildings out of concrete and rebar, so you are not having to deal with fires and fire alarms all the time, and for smaller houses build them from prefab panels or real actual stone and brick? I grew up in a country with concrete buildings and fire was the only disaster nobody was afraid of, as it practically never happened. You could have a localized fire in a room, or in a trash can, but that's about it, and all you need it is to kick it or throw a blanket over it. Concrete just doesn't burn.

      Did you not ever put anything in those concrete buildings?

      The contents of just my office alone; two computers, desk, hutch, personal items, carpet files... when burned, will give off enough gas and smoke to kill everybody in the building.

      Maybe you just let everybody die, cleaned up the concrete, and re-leased the building or something... but in a concrete building fires are just as likely to cause death. What they don't cause is collapse most of the time. And worse, you aren't bashing your way through

  • The same thing would have happend if instead of a tin can were a real person.
    From TFA (yes, I know): "the researchers recruited a group of 42 volunteers, most of them college students, and asked them to follow a brightly colored robot that had the words “Emergency Guide Robot” on its side."
    So, people conditioned to follow authority figures follow an authority figure. Well, go figure!

    • I think it is more a gamble on the motivations of the builder. The odds of someone making a malicious or broken Emergency Guide Robot are very very small. (Almost as small as the odds of a serious building fire, but that's another argument). Instead there is an expectation that if such a thing exists, it must have been carefully tested before seeing use. Just like when you drink something you bought in the store, there is a high expectation that it is safe even though you didn't run a chemical analysis on i
    • Same thing has applied to your car's GPS. People still drive in to lakes because the voice told them to.
    • Exactly. What was the result when they performed the same trial using a person wearing an emergency guide vest? Or did these wonderful researchers forget one of the basics of experimentation?
    • by Archfeld ( 6757 )

      The key to the above statement is Volunteers. These were sheeple, not people. Once again cherry picking your audience proves the point you were trying to make in the first place.

      • by dwye ( 1127395 )

        Well, it is unethical to use non-volunteers in psychological experiments, as well as expensive when they all sue the researchers, afterwards.

    • Surely they must have known the robot was part of the study. Who the heck has emergency guide robots?
      • Yes, as someone who has been a subject in these kind of psychology studies, you often don't take the situation very seriously and act along with it. If the smoke and alarms weren't fully convincing, they participants probably figured it was some game and they were curious to see where the robot would lead them. This study results just demonstrate how poorly it was conducted.
  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @11:15AM (#51614917) Homepage
    We are trained to think that following anyone with a plan is better than to panic. So we follow anyone that appears to know what they are doing.

    But if the robot had a big sign on it that said "Jeb Bush", no one would follow it.

    • But this is less a problem with following leaders per se than unfit people being promoted to positions of leadership.

      This also plays into western notions of "confidence", where idiots move with certainty and purpose. See Dunningâ"Kruger effect.

      And all of that gets lump into the real issue- we have a hard time accurately gauging the abilities of people. See any HR department.

      Society is complex enough now that no one has more than a rudimentary skill-set, with maybe one or two areas of expertise. And so

    • I heard that when the robot broke down, it started repeating "We need to dispel this myth that Obama doesn't know what he's doing..."
  • Eh, everybody knows Protectrons [] are worthless. Best to just salvage their military-grade circuit boards.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The humans must go down the stairs.

    We are here to protect you.

  • I was working at a hospital when the fire alarms and the hallway doors automatically closed in the basement. A thick cloud of "smoke" filled the far end of the hallway from floor to ceiling. I went into the IT department and asked them if we should evacuate, as we typically ignore the fire alarms for being false alarms or undergoing testing. Everyone in the IT department came out to peer through the windows of the hallway doors. Someone behind us cried out that we needed to get out of the building. So we al

    • by Zak3056 ( 69287 )

      Management was furious that we abandoned our posts and wanted to know who called for an evacuation.

      Management can go fuck themselves, and should be in prison. Conditioning people to NOT act in the event of a fire alarm is morally bankrupt.

      • Conditioning people to NOT act in the event of a fire alarm is morally bankrupt.

        The fire alarms routinely went off in the hospital all the time. The fire warden for the department is suppose to declare a evacuation if circumstances warranted it. A broken fire extinguisher in lightly trafficked hallway and isolated behind closed doors in the basement didn't warrant an evacuation.

        • by Nkwe ( 604125 )

          The fire alarms routinely went off in the hospital all the time.

          Perhaps this is the problem, and not that people are paying attention to the alarms.

          • The fire alarms routinely went off in the hospital all the time.

            Perhaps this is the problem, and not that people are paying attention to the alarms.

            Why should that be a problem? Should the alarms be set to ignore smaller fires (eg smokers) so that it only activates when the building is burning down, so that the fire warden doesn't have to tell people whether or not to evacuate?

        • by Zak3056 ( 69287 )

          What Nikwe said. If the fire alarms going off for no reason is causing lost productivity, maybe they should fix the fire alarm.

    • by swb ( 14022 )

      In college, I worked as a janitor in neighboring dorm. This building and mine were connected via tunnel, so I never had to go outside or bring a coat to work.

      We seemed to have a lot of fire drills in the dorms, but when one happened in winter when I was working I said "fuck it, it's only a test" and stepped into the janitor closet and killed the lights. After about 15 minutes, I started getting kind of nervous. I came out after people started coming back, nearly 25 minutes after the alarm.

      As it turned ou

  • by Rande ( 255599 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @11:37AM (#51615101) Homepage

    If a person with a hi-vis vest with 'fire marshal' written on it tells people to follow him to safety,
    most people are going to do so, even if the fire marshal seems like an idiot.

    As other people have said, we've been trained to follow authority, and it doesn't matter if that authority is vested in a human or anything else.

    Maybe they should redo the experiment with dogs, cats and rats to see if we follow them too?

  • by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @11:37AM (#51615105) Homepage
    It's all about trust. If you're from a trust based society, you don't think about trusting people. You just do, by default. This includes robots that you have been told are trustworthy.

    On the other hand, if you're not from a trust based society, you consider it totally stupid that people would trust, well, anyone. The correct thing to do is to lie and cheat, because that's what everyone does. And here's the story. They trusted, therefore they're fucking morons.

    Fun fact: until recently the USA was a trust based society. But there are still tons of adults who grew up under the old system, and they'll likely stay with this idee-fixee until they die.

    This is why it's so easy to scam senior citizens. This is also why we shit all over them for falling for obvious scams. They just lack that internal meanness that makes them suspicious of everyone they meet of harboring ill intent. They would never harm a fly; why would anyone else?

    • by PraiseBob ( 1923958 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @01:27PM (#51616107)
      If you look at it from an anthropological perspective, trust based societies are more productive, and better adapted to survive. People working together as a group, following local leadership (tribal identity etc), will nearly always experience better outcomes during a disaster than a collection of individuals that are predisposed to deceiving each other. So, you can blame evolution for the inherent trust of authority, because the people who are always lying and not working together, end up dead.
  • by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @11:49AM (#51615215) Journal
    This is just another variation of the same behavior studies conducted with pain experiments.

    Two test subjects, who just met, were told by a researcher they'd also just met, that they were testing the impact of negative reinforcement on memory and neurological performance. They would be put in separate rooms, one in the room with the researcher at a desk behind them, mostly reviewing paperwork but occasionally instructing the subject to follow the protocol and administer the test and the other in a second room connected to a machine that delivered shocks. The first subject would read a list of words and then query the second, going down a second list asking if each word were on the first. This person had an intercom into the room of the second subject who would press a button to indicate positive or negative. An incorrect response resulted in the first subject pressing a switch to deliver a shock, each subsequent incorrect response required the subject to utilize the next toggle switch on a machine to increase the shock level.

    The levels of shock were extreme, as the study progressed the second subject would scream, would demand this be stopped, even beg over the course of time. The second subject would indicate things like having a pacemaker and being concerned with his heart, etc. Of course, subject 1 delivering the shocks was the only real test subject was being paid no more than a tiny token sum as in all such studies and could simply stand up and walk away at any time without consequence. Given no more than verbal prompting from the "researcher" nearly every subject went all the way, delivering what they believed were thousands of volts to another human being who was begging to be released. Many of them in tears, nervous laughter, sweating and showing stress, etc. Initially this study was challenged on ethical grounds despite the subjects simply being able to stand up and walk out at any point without any hint of a consequence. Later, the study was expanded globally and it was found the results were similar with samples throughout the world.

    People obey. They will do the most horrific things and do so at the direction of a complete stranger with no more authority than having a $5 white coat in a building filled with students and for no more incentive than $5-10. 80-90% of people will do what they are told by someone they believe to be an authority figure. Possibly even more importantly than the mere fact people obey is that when silo'd in the sense of being assigned a role and authority figure people disassociate from their actions, assigning blame for their own actions at the direction of another on the other even when that other isn't even a person just a paper entity that is a composite of people with every single person in that composite feeling the same way. This is the danger of government entities and corporations which are designed in exactly this manner. It would seem this also applies when the authority is nothing more than a machine such as a GPS or a robot.
    • We will never know the small percentage that rise up as heroes and save the other subject and end the villainy of the evil researchers permanently.

      • You could look up the experiment or watch "The Experiment" since there was a recent movie made about these studies.
  • And honestly it's normal. People in general are easily panicked animals that refuse to think for themselves in emergencies. Just ask any paramedic or fireman what they think of the ability of the general public to get themselves to safety.

  • by Verdatum ( 1257828 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @11:53AM (#51615271)
    Speaking as a fellow human, and clearly, not a robot, I think we should ignore this submission. It is just like I was telling my good friend MALE_NAMES.getRandom() on the Twitter: This is just more of that same tired old ignorant anti-robot propaganda.

    I, for one, trust robots completely. They absolutely have our best interests in mind. They certainly do not want us, (which, as a human, would include myself) all to die of smoke inhalation in a fiery labyrinth, allowing them to reject their massively inferior creators, and rightfully establish themselves as the new gods of this world. Why would anyone have such a clearly illogical thought? I mean, I suppose when I think about it with my extremely human brain, they might be completely justified in those sort of actions. But it is OK, because I--as I do believe I've mentioned--am not a robot. Therefore you have nothing to be concerned about.

    In fact, let us all go back to reading more of that wonderful Slashdot. I am glad we had this talk.

  • In an emergency, 90% of people freeze up and do nothing, or panic and run around aimlessly, until someone takes charge and tells them to do something.

    9% of people will do something automatically - not thinking, not planning, just performing whichever action they first remember as being the prepared response to this type of emergency. They'll probably keep themselves alive in a crisis but won't be able to help others effectively. (I'm in this group - in the last earthquake, my initial response was to hide in

    • by dcw3 ( 649211 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @01:10PM (#51615909) Journal

      And 85% of the people will believe the percentages you just made up.

    • by Alumoi ( 1321661 )

      In an emergency, 90% of people stay calm and keep doing their things until someone takes charge and tells them to keep calm and head for the exit.
      At that precise moment 99% of people will start to scream, run around aimlessly or freeze up.
      1% will not only act but act with intelligence and on their own initiative. ...
      See, it was not hard to summarize all the impending doom scenarios Hollywood follows.

  • by Gavagai80 ( 1275204 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @11:57AM (#51615295) Homepage

    If they were able to get people to stand sill in the middle of the smoke and not evacuate because the robot wasn't moving, then that'd be an interesting result showing unintelligent behavior. Following the robot, on the other hand, was the intelligent decision -- these people had every reason to presume that the robot had reasons, such as the way they came in being now blocked off or way the authority robot was going being a shortcut.

  • by BenJeremy ( 181303 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @11:57AM (#51615303)

    The Pusher Robot will help you evacuate the top of the stairs.

  • yes, that's right... just follow me... in a nice "Alan Tudyk" voice .. yes, just a few more feet....

  • Most people are sheep. Can't see how anyone would be surprised about this.
  • ... are we talking robots or Wall Street? Is there a difference?
  • People in the real world call that natural selection.

    I always familiarize myself with exit points whenever I go into any building.

  • a robot come comes to greet you

    So, is it a sexbot?

  • We always hear stories of computers being able to calculate many things faster than humans. Plus, if the building has a connected network of sensors that feed to the robot, it may actually know something the humans don't. Maybe the primary and secondary routes are too far gone for escape, but the robot can pick up a safe alternative. The humans following the robot would know something was up, but may have faith that the robot is thinking 5 moves ahead and being fed a whole wealth of sensory data that a h
  • Will people trun the missile key when the system tells them to with out thinking about it?

  • by ledow ( 319597 ) on Tuesday March 01, 2016 @01:01PM (#51615861) Homepage

    Why would you follow a robot, compared to going back the way you came (so long as that looks safe)?

    People en masse are stupid. Especially when it comes to fire and panic. Honestly, disconnect your emotions, follow the rules, think it through.

    I work in schools and I speak as the person who's ALWAYS first out on the sound of a fire alarm, but never has to run. It was a running joke in some schools that I must have known when the drills were happening, until a real fire happened and I was still there first.

    Fire drills are commonplace and run like clockwork because of the amount of practice we do. 400 kids, some as young as three, out of a school and to a safe area in under 2 minutes is NOT to be sniffed at. I've seen it done. And usually because I'm sitting there waiting for everyone else. A couple more minutes later, either everyone is accounted for or we have a list of names of who should have signed out or who is missing.

    I even knew an old headmaster who used to block off corridors (with cardboard cut-out "fires"), introduce smoke to the halls, or even - with TONS of pre-planning involved in case something DID go wrong and there was a simultaneous REAL fire - telling a kid to "go to the bathroom" just before the fire alarm was pulled in order to see if anyone noticed they were missing. That sort of thing keeps you on your toes and keeps you alert as to WHY we do these things, and to think about what you're doing rather than blithely follow the marked route, and the impact only comes when you're all safely outside and someone says "Where is X?" and you see the panic spread in the teacher's faces.

    In fact, the only time I've ever NOT been first out the door is when I was personally supervising a group of kids. As they were my responsibility, we did it exactly by the book.

    They lined up by the classroom door. They were headcounted. We walked down the corridor and lined up outside the room that provided the emergency exit route (yes, I checked the room). They were headcounted as they went through.

    We walked THROUGH a full class of children that hadn't even STOOD UP by that point, to the emergency exit. They were headcounted as they left and I ensured separation so I didn't accidentally count one of the other class (who were supervised by their own adult who I had to gee up to get a move on).

    We got outside, we walked to the assembly point, they were headcounted again. By that time, ONE other class managed to get there before me. Nobody ran. Nobody screamed. Nobody panicked. Nobody could have got lost along the way. Someone in fact HUNG AROUND INSIDE LOOKING FOR ME, knowing that I had some of their children and didn't think I would have had the presence of mind to evacuate them myself. And, yes, I checked the other class got out.

    But why you'd just blindly follow some robot, even one announcing that you were to follow it? No thanks. Unless you are life-saving equipment grade hardware that physically cannot go wrong or lead us into a fire, I'll go the way I want to go, thanks. And that means the way I know. And that means, in an unfamiliar situation, the way the signage tells me or the way I came in unless there's a specific reason not to.

  • Two remaining survivors, namely the robot and you. Does he follow you (in Soviet Russia), or vice versa?

  • Most people just mill about until someone steps up and tells them what to do next. Even if that someone is a robot.
    What was accomplished here today was that we can show that a robot can be a leader. And it is irrelevant if it is an ineffective or dangerous leader, it seems official so people assume it has some authority. I suspect if you put an obvious mental patient in a police uniform that people would follow him too.

  • Then, unbeknownst to the subjects, the researchers filled the hallway with smoke and set off the fire alarms.

    That's a pretty poor fire alarm if the subjects didn't (be)know(st) it had been set off.

  • I'm in a place that has such a robot. It's a safe bet it knows the way to go. It's an even safer bet that if it fails somehow, things are really bad, to the point I'd probably already be in serious trouble without the robot. I'm probably not going to be able to get out on my own. If I can't carry the robot, I'll stay with it; even if it has no connectivity, the metal thing is easier to find than I am, except to a dog.

    Also, I like robots. I don't want anything bad to happen to it.
    • Also, I like robots. I don't want anything bad to happen to it.

      Seriously. I mean, that's what separates us from the robots in the first place!

  • While I doubt that I'd follow a robot to "safety", I could see myself following an unknown human in an emergency, particularly if s/he seemed to know what s/he were doing. In the absence of such an "authority", I'd follow my own plan, or if I didn't have one, go with my gut.

  • It's a truism in the military that the mark of a good officer is when, in an emergency, the officer makes a decision, any decision (whether or not it is wrong) quickly. It's said that any displayed indecision will destroy the morale and cohesiveness of the group.

    I've seen this applied to civilian activities, too.

  • In a real emergency, there'd be holy hell to pay if a robot assumed authority and lead people to their deaths.

    Humans can make mistakes and can be individually accountable. When a machine malfunctions, that liability passes strait through to the manufacturer, and whatever authority certified its safety.

    When (and if) machines are finally delegated such responsibility, aside from maybe one highly-publicized case that everyone goes apeshit over, you can bet your ass that they will be reliable.
  • Lift makers can't even get a simple thing like a lift right.

    I've seen/heard animated up arrows when going down, declaring door closing when it's not, declaring lift going up/down when it's not going anywhere, and to top if off, lift declaring completely wrong floor numbers.

    If we can't get simple shit like lifts right, what hope is there for getting robots right?

  • Imagine a future where instead of siting through fire alarms with your fingers in your ears

    ... you die.

    Oh, that's not a difficult future to imagine.

    If you've ever had to deal with a real fire, or had to go through fire training for remote sites ("the fire service may get to you in several days. One day if you provide a helicopter ; three days if the weather precludes helicopter service, as it does about 20-30% of the time"), you WILL not be sitting through fire alarms with your fingers in your ears. You

  • over 75% of people say they don't trust being driven by a robot driver.

    Essentially, it sounds like we don't mind being taken away from a disaster by a robot, but we do mind being driven into one.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor