Alright, everyone, its time for another one of my sketchier (read: borderline insane) threads. As you know, the future is due to be here any moment now. And with each passing moment, that future gets a little scarier. So my project for all of you, yes all of you, is to find every reason why the future is scary as hell, and list it here.
New computer problems
New social issues
And anything you find scary as hell that is just arriving or soon will be.
Just to make this a little more fun, lets use a scale to rate what we post. At the beginning of each "presentation", state the name of what you are talking about, followed by one of the following:
1. Well that's annoying
2. Sounds like trouble
3. I'll not sleep tonight
4. I'll never sleep again
5. Why, god, why?
6. There is no god...
7. Only Keanu Reeves can save us now!
Tell us everything you think we need to know about your subject, such as what it is, where it's happening, who's causing it, and if its not obvious, why we should be scared.
Not every post has to be new information. Feel free to discuss any and every topic you want to comment on. I personally don't feel like you should absolutely have to link each one of your sources every time you present information, but be prepared to give them if somebody asks. If what you are posting is hearsay, then fear not. Just note somewhere that it is hearsay and may not be 100% accurate. Also, don't be overly critical of anyone. If you correct someone, thats all fine and well, but don't be a dick about it. This is supposed to be a fun thread.
I'll get this kicked off with one of my favorite terrifying new technologies, and provide a general template that you may use, if you wish to.
Fear Factor: I'll not sleep tonight
Probability: This is already happening
This is EATR. EATR is a multi-purpose combat drone, who can be both remote-controlled, or act independently. One of its many functions is to identify and "neutralize" enemies, which is what the Pentagon likes to call it when somebody gets shot. Now, alright, it's a kill-bot. We all knew they'd be here someday. Most of us thought the Japanese would have them first, but at least it's on our side (assuming you aren't a terrorist or North Korean)
Well, killing people isn't what is scary about this murder machine. Its what it does after it kills you.
They couldn't just stop with killing you. This is DARPA, after all. For those of you who are unfamiliar, DARPA is the research and development branch of the American Department of Defense that creates almost every piece of futuristic technology that the US military employs. They are also crazier than shit. We're talking nuclear handgrenade crazy (don't laugh, that's an actual project that I'll post later). Americans who know anything about DARPA tend to suspect that it will one day become self aware and enslave mankind (think Skynet).
Some of you know where this is heading. Others, I just wanted to keep in suspense for a few more sentences. But here it goes.
It eats you. It straight up eats you. Hence the name EATR (seems like they do that on purpose these days)
Okay, let me clarify. It's not supposed to eat you. It technically eats "biomass", which means any living material and use it as fuel. It is programmed to only eat twigs, grass, plants, and *maybe* small animals, however. So we should be safe, right? Just because it can, doesn't mean it will.
Well, here's were it gets all I, robot on us. This thing has two little quirks (aside from the huge one of being a flesh-eating robot) that should be addressed. This robot is meant to run for weeks at a time. Hence why it needs to create its own fuel. However, it needs to perform other tasks than just killing things during those two weeks, such as maintenance and manual tasks. So
they gave EATR 2 additional abilities to increase it's destructive power (because sometimes a robot with a machine gun and a chainsaw isn't enough)
EATR can update its own software. That's right, it can individually choose to download and apply updates to itself in the field. Surely there is some limiting protocol to that, but that's little comfort in my mind. But, hey, even if one goes rogue, its just one robot all the way in Afghanistan. What do I have to worry about?
The other quirk I mention comes into play here. Not only can EATR repair itself, but if you put the individual parts of another EATR robot in front of one, it could build another entire functioning robot. Thats right, EATR's can build more EATR's. At this point I have to assume that somebody at DARPA began cackling madly, because a rational human being would have put a stop to this about 2 paragraphs back.
So now we've got a robot who
1. Eats biomass
2. Makes decisions and "grows" under its own power
3. Can self-replicate
If I'm not mistaken, this robot technically counts as a living being. It is possibly the first truly mechanical species on Earth. So we're created a race of semi-sentient kill-bots who can create their own army. I feel like I've seen this before...
Oh, right... <3 DARPA
Edit: Just FYI, a few of these things are already in the field. This isn't a "maybe", this is a "this is frickin' happening" (maybe without the robot apocalypse, though)