Unless the autopilot technology in self-driving vehicles is improved dramatically, rodents may as well be at the wheel.
The post-Vietnam war euphemism influenced by the influx of diminutive furry creatures in bedroom cages, thanks to the great grandparent founders of the modern ideological slaughterhouses of PETA and the Earth Liberation front, has devolved into a negative connotation describing reckless and incredulous models of experimentation. Generation X-ers exhausted the mildly amusing phrase of “Will you be my guinea pig?”during their formative years in the neighborhood cul-de-sac to elicit an invitation of participating in a dumb activity that would most likely result in bodily harm. Now, with that demographic of society all grown up, the question fueled by childlike wonder and devious intentions in the 1970’s and 80’s, has transformed into a curt and snarky request demanding universal compliance… or else.
As the self-proclaimed rulers of the planet, the tech realm and the indelible billionaire entrepreneurs attempting to steal the autonomy of the driving experience, are ungraciously and selfishly adorning the Guinea pig label on fellow citizens by conducting live experiments within dense population centers. Self-driving cars, delivery drones, and various robots of all shapes, sizes, and genders, have been unleashed upon society, and there exists no recourse or accountability in the wake of fatal instances that could have been prevented with the existence of proper testing methodologies and standards.
At least the insufferable techlebrity, Elon Musk, had the wherewithal to drive his own self-driving vehicle, and created a viral condition after he steamrolled a traffic pylon in the parking lot of an exclusive Hollywood establishment, while a Tesla-3 bounded into a police cruiser, on the other side of the continent.
While Musk did not hesitate to check on the status of the damaged rubber and plastic parking lot marker, pundits are attempting cutting-edge humor via social media in drawing parallels to the dimensions of the unfortunate pylon and small children, comedy that gets less funny when the reality of the unreliability of self-driving vehicles is at a point of development where humans are potential targets at any moment. Ironically, the manager or operator of the Tesla-3 involved in the accident in Connecticut with a police car, as driver is no longer a satisfactory term to describe the demotion to minion of the bloodthirsty machine, was apparently checking on his dog in the backseat with the much-maligned autopilot system engaged, when the car inexplicably veered wildly causing the collision.
Between the carefree audacity of Musk to bend the rules of the road, and the prevalence of arrogance within the tech community in treating humanity as second class citizens through reprehensible testing policy, how many so-called accidents have to accrue before something is done to mitigate the insanity, and restore the natural hierarchy to traditional and productive standards? In the aftermath of a tragic fatality of a pedestrian in the Phoenix-area caused by the lack of awareness by the driver of an Uber test vehicle and a mechanical failure, Arizona governor Doug Ducey suspended all live testing for the company throughout the entire state. The move may prove costly, but in dealing with an entity with virtually limitless financial resources, tough love is the only recourse in protecting citizens.
It’s bad enough that retail giant Amazon has willing metaphorical fluffy cute rodent participants allowing couriers to enter their homes in a bold and brash program that literally brings criminals through the front door, but with Terminator-style death vehicles swerving through city streets, and costing the thermodynamic ledger eight times as much energy to manufacturer than a classic vehicle, one has to ponder how screwed is the immediate future? And how environmentally friendly are the toxic and volatile batteries powering the hybrid movement?
And this is the juncture where things get truly convoluted, as the relentless siege of Silicon Valley to transform every mechanized system into an artificial intelligence model violently collides with society afflicted by instant gratification, and a 15-second attention span compromised by a short-term memory malfunction. Certain readers will inevitably forget that this editorial is based on the theme of the Guinea pig explaining the Stockholm syndrome pliable nature of individuals be easily influenced and immersed within the blanket of wonder supplied by big tech, despite any inherent and dangerous risks involved.
Musk and his heavily government subsidized empire is only able to thrive in this obscure era of history, as the population of the world adjusts to the heights and the chasms of the digital revolution, an enthralling and equally scary time to live as even reality endures periodic short circuits and is at the whim of smartphones and software chip components. However, one of the greatest swindlers of the early 21st century will face his defining moment with karma, as the hype and flurry of the Green movement is replaced by a renaissance of sensibility spurred by facts. Until then, the nepionic stage of humanity interacting with innovation breeds a litter of adorable and insatiable creatures of habit susceptible to the whim of guileless technocrats slowly and painfully killing the survival instinct and redefining purpose.