Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Shocking Robot Hazing MIT Secret Exposed

From The Onion

CAMBRIDGE, MA—Several members of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology chapter of the Theta Tau fraternity are in campus-police custody today following a brutal hazing incident in which one robot remains missing and two others are in critical condition with extensive circuitry and servo-motor injuries, sources revealed Monday.

The robots, experimental prototypes recently devised at MIT's prestigious Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, were participating in an apparent initiation exercise that police say involved butyl alcohol and compressed air.
According to eyewitnesses, the three robots were ripped from their chargers at the Theta Tau chapter house at 3 a.m. Tuesday. One, a titanium-alloy hexapod approximately 13 inches in diameter, was reportedly forced to climb stairs built at a grade too steep for its small hinged legs, causing six of its pneumatic actuators to short out. A second robot, a biped from MIT's Leg Laboratory, was allegedly forced to replicate "the same humiliating hopping algorithm" 200,000 times, and is currently in critical condition in the laboratory's emergency-repair room.
The third robot, a tread-driven 38-inch-tall rover, is feared drowned after being forced to consume over 40 terabytes of data and then swim across the Charles River with a burning candle stuck in its rear port.

MIT Dean of Students Geraldine Knight said. "These robots are extremely artificially intelligent. They wouldn't willingly subject themselves to this sort of abuse without extreme levels of peer pressure or even downright reprogramming."

This latest incident comes in the wake of a February episode in which an ambulating chatbot device created at Caltech was programmed to repeat the phrase "I am a faggot" while locomoting across campus.

A spokesman for the Theta Tau fraternity claimed that the "fun just got out of hand," and that the robot pledges were "100 percent cool with the initiation."

"They showed us they were willing to do anything to be Theta Tau brothers. Loyalty, commitment, and conformity are what the Greek system is all about," the spokesman said.

MIT Fraternity Accused Of Robot Hazing | The Onion - America's Finest News Source


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