The Dirty Lives of Robots, 1794-2012

1794: “Wonderful exhibition !!! Signor Gulielmo Pittachio, the sublime wonder of the world!!! condescends to inform the public at large, and his friends in particular, that he has now opened his grand hall of exhibitions at Westminster… In the course of the entertainment the sublime Pittachio will exhibit upwards of two hundred automata, or moving puppets, Who will rise up, sit down, say Yes, or No, Receive Money, Rake among the Cinders, or do any Dirty Work he may think proper to put them to–N.B. This is a most fascinating Trick.”


2012:  “DARPA seeks humanoid robots in Grand Challenge; DARPA trials would apparently involve getting a robot to drive a utility vehicle, enter a locked room, and repair a pump. Eliminating members of the ragtag human Resistance comes later.”

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