At the end of last year we were introduced to Ameca—a robot from British company Engineered Arts that uses uncanny facial expressions to smile horribly, gasp in surprise, and probably, one day soon, teleport back in time from the future apocalypse to animatedly warn us that we shouldn’t let more of her be created.
Now, eager to show off what other demonic entities it’s summoned through its portal to a techno-hell dimension, Engineered Arts has invited YouTuber Tom Scott to its offices to show him the fresh nightmare of a robot made in his image.
Scott, who in happier times does stuff like visit a riverside McDonald’s and create hovercraft bars, explains that he was enticed to visit the company’s sci-fi pit of despair with the promise of seeing a fleshless, immortal version of himself.
After taking a 3D scan, creating a sculpture whose artificial skin could be flayed and draped over a robot frame, and programming the resulting beast to emulate the man himself, Engineered Arts was ready to display its work. When Scott enters the workshop to see the final result, he’s tongue-tied, repeating “that is weird,” and examining his nodding, blinking doppelgänger with intense fascination.
“This is not looking into the mirror,” he says. “This is looking into a very weird mirror.”
Director Of Operations Morgan Roe points out that the effect is even stranger because, unlike a mirror, the robot Scott’s features aren’t flipped when he looks at them. Scott then tries to explain how he feels gazing into the creature’s eyes—which are, in a way, his eyes—and ends up simply stating that “this is such a surreal experience.” (Having encountered technological recreations of himself in the past, he should know.)
Pushing aside all of his discomfort, Scott then figures that the best way to put his robot double to work is to have it advertise a VPN, noting that a video he made back in 2019 about false claims in VPN advertising has made it impossible for him—the organic version of him at least—to do these kind of advertisements.
Fortunately, the video ends with the robot Scott being shut down. Our only hope is that it was then melted down into scrap and repurposed into the kind of powerful bludgeoning weapons we’ll need once the mechanical doubles rise up to wrest control of this planet from our soft, oh-so-breakable hands.
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