We Need A Fourth Law Of Robotics: Stop Fingering My Wife

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2056: Future Issue

Report: 40 Percent of American High-School Students Mind-Reading At Sixth-Grade Level

CHICAGO2—According to Department of Telepathic Education officials, standardized Rhine-Zener testing shows that two of five North American high-school students are reading minds at or below the sixth-grade level. "Psycholiteracy is essential for survival in today's world," said DTE director Ruth Edgerton2008, founder of the "Mind-Reading Is Fundamental" project. "It's a shame that some students are graduating from high school lacking the basic telepathy skills they need to compete in the current job market." Edgerton2008 then thought about the need for increased funding for the national MindStart program.

Surgery Required For New Sexual Position

ISLA LOS ANGELES—Plasmic surgeons at Cedar Sinai Medical Center are among the more than 100 doctors nationwide performing the surgery required to enjoy the sexual position "Feast Of Forty Fingers Supping Upon The Nine-Branched Lotus," as popularized by the Neo Sutra. "Attempting the Forty Fingers position without proper bio-augmentation could result in needless maiming, so please ask a doctor about the required procedures," said Dr. Joshua Mendelbaum of the Adaptive Procreative Therapy unit. "Home surgical kits and even sophisticated nanodoctor booths are no substitute for the care of a licensed sexual surgeon." Mendelbaum would not comment on the 30 percent ecstasy-induced-mortality rate among those who successfully achieve the position.

Abraham Lincoln's DNA Now Available Over The Counter

DC—Responding to pressure from vocal consumer groups and gene-gineering giant Merck-Maibatsu-Pfizer Monday, the FDA announced it will allow the DNA of America's 16th president to be sold without a doctor's prescription. "The legalization of OTC Abe is great news for expectant parents, gene-therapy patients, and history buffs," said MMP marketing director Wayne Lincoln. "Americans will no longer be shackled by the genetic heritage of their forefathers, a tyranny of flesh which condemns all men to be created equal. Now, four score and seven credits will ensure that presidential DNA for the people shall not vanish from the earth." Those using Lincoln's DNA are warned that side effects may include mild gigantism, arthritis, and severe depression.

Hemmed-In Seattle Mayor Calls For Emergency Deforestation

SEATTLE—Seattle Mayor Frances Bean Cobain-Osment issued a call for the emergency deforestation of the Pacific Northwest Monday. "Please, major logging companies, I beg you, send any spare sawmilling, pulping, or chipping equipment you have as soon as possible," said Cobain-Osment, invisible within the branches and overgrowth on the steps of City Hall. "We cannot fight off the encroaching trees and spotted owls any longer." The mayor's message concluded with a spirited condemnation of 2001's controversial Healthy Forests Initiative.

Remainder Of Ross Ice Shelf Now In Smithsonian Freezer

DC—The 25-meter-long remains of the Ross Ice Shelf, the floating Antarctic ice sheet that was once the size of France, will be displayed in the Smithsonian Institution's basement freezer through August. "We thank the generous citizens of Philadelphia, who donated this polar-cap remnant when it washed up on their shores earlier this year," curator Tim Riley said. "The ice sheet is a valuable artifact of the earth's geological past." Guests at an upcoming fundraising dinner will be served cocktails made with chunks of the shelf.

Repopulation Of Africa Begins

OLDUVAI GORGE, FORMER TANZANIA—The UN announced Monday that it has begun the directed repopulation of Africa, the continent that has lain desolate since the 2042 Saharan Scourge. "The time has come to reclaim this land from the effects of war, famine, disease, and devastating commercial exploitation," ReAfrica project head Marcus Mtume said, motioning toward the bare rock of the Serengeti shield plain. "At this very moment, scouts are determining the viability of a New Lagos settlement." Critics argue that the ReAfrica project is beyond the scope of current terra-reforming technology, and the UN resources required would be better spent on more fertile territory, such as the Marianas Trench or Charon, Pluto's only moon.

Ozone Repletion Project Nearly Finished

MCMURDO, ANTARCTIC STATES--Franklin Serwacki, lead project administrator of the Global Ozone Restoration Initiative, announced Monday that the earth's ozone layer will be restored to pre-Industrial Revolution levels by the end of the month. "With our new Bering Strait facility operating at full capacity, repletion of the ozone layer should be complete by... oh, I'd say next Thursday. It's been a busy couple of weeks, but soon we'll be able to look back on a job well done." Serwacki then offered his apologies to the more than 6 billion people who were irreparably harmed by solar UV radiation in the several decades the project was delayed by tripartisan bickering.

Leather-Clad Nomads Seize Power In Australia

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA—Following months of terror at the hands of hot-rod-piloting punks, Australian Prime Minister Kellen O'Neill handed power to Lord Humongous, nominal warlord of the leather-clad marauding barbarian horde Monday. "Just walk away!" said Humongous, the official "Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Roll-ah," speaking through his vehicle's PA system from the smoking ruins of the city center. "I will spare those of you who surrender your possessions and your precious juice. Just walk away, and live." Humongous is expected to share at least a portion of his dominion over Australia with midget genius The Master, who several sources said "runs Bartertown."

117-Aerocar Pileup Clogs Troposphere For Hours

BOSTON—Travelers on Interspace 92 experienced delays of up to three hours after 117 aerocars were involved in a tropospheric pileup Monday. "We traced the problem to a malfunctioning holosign over the harbor's low-pressure zone," said Anders Featherston, lead engineer of Boston's Big Draft project. "Four horizontal lanes and three vertical lanes merged without warning, causing the first few propeller-benders, and it only escalated from there." The 22 deaths caused by the accident were only temporary, as EMTs had the victims' cortical memory stacks decanted into fresh bodies within hours.

Economy Given Big Boost By Ramadan Shopping Season

NEWER YORK—Financial experts announced Monday that the U.S. economy was boosted by millions of Americans beginning to purchase Ramadan gifts. "With rampant inflation and record-low consumer confidence, we were on the path to total economic devastation for the year," economist Karen Thewes said. "Fortunately, preparations for the celebration of Eid ul-Fitr pumped nearly Ÿ2.2 billion into the economy. In addition, there was a huge surge in the purchase of Quran plaques dedicated to Allah." Thewes went on to predict that the economy would be further buoyed by a brisk Solstice.
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We Need A Fourth Law Of Robotics: Stop Fingering My Wife

When robots started to become commonplace, Congress, in its great wisdom, mandated that every robot be hardwired with the Three Laws Of Robotics. For decades, these three basic rules have maintained class order in our society and kept the number of robot-caused deaths to a minimum. We all know these three laws:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

That certainly makes sense. No one wants a gore-bot to twist someone into a pretzel or stand aside and watch a human get hit by a Greyhound Shuttle.

2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except when such orders would conflict with the First Law.

This, too, makes sense. Robots are manufactured to perform the actions requested by their owners. If we didn't want that, we'd all buy SteveJobsbots.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Uh, hello? A robot is a big investment. It only makes sense to protect humans from possible protocol violations. We can't have every robot who doesn't like his assigned duties throwing himself off the Golden Gate Overpass, can we?

Frankly, I'd be happy if these three rules were all that was necessary to ensure happy robot-human coexistence. Unfortunately, there's been a huge oversight. There's nothing in those laws to keep those machines out of my wife's coochie!

I'm not asking that we draft a law to prevent robots from manually stimulating with owner consent. If people want their wives fingered by their bots, that's fine. I wasn't born yesterday. To each his own. I'm not asking you to forbid robots from fingering every wife, just mine.

Sure, I can tell the robots from the neighborhood, "Hey, don't finger my wife!" and, under the Second Law Of Robotics, they'd have to comply. But what about the thousands of robots I've never met? The moment my back is turned, odds are my wife's going to get robo-fingered. It doesn't matter if the robot doesn't have fingers—she'll find some sorta antenna, spring, or crankshaft, and—boom—that robot will get her off.

Here's something I don't understand: We can develop a robot sturdy enough to mine the Saturnine moon Enceladus, strong enough to withstand the fierce ionic winds and burst through the 40 meters of scorched onyx that covers the planet, and smart enough to collect the vital crystals from amidst all the worthless rock, but the designers at USR labs can't figure out how to stop them from finger-banging my wife?

Do robotics engineers have any idea how much it breaks my heart to know that my wife's vulva has been probed by hundreds of metal phalanges? Are they trying to ruin my marriage?!

Good people at USR Labs, I urge you: Add a fourth item of protocol to the programming that guides the models in your next rollout. I want these automatons to get it into their intricate positronic brains that some parts of the human body are off limits, no matter how much human women plead. I, as well as thousands of other husbands around the world, would greatly appreciate it.

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