Boston Dynamics' new humanoid Atlas robot takes a stroll in the snow.
Boston Dynamics
By Barb Darrow
February 24, 2016

It’s definitely not easy being Atlas, the humanoid robot.

On Tuesday, Google’s (goog) Boston Dynamics unit released a video showing off the robot’s ability to balance itself and keep going, even after being pushed around by some guy with a hockey stick. And it caused quite a stir on social media.

Here’s a sample of the tweets decrying the bullying of poor Atlas:

Then of course, there was the inevitable “robot overlord” meme:

Some people found that overused trope annoying:

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But, as tough as it was for some to watch Atlas take its licks, others were more concerned about how the balance of human/machine power may shift going forward. (Hint: They don’t think it will go in our favor, so now is the time to start being nice.)

The Reddit discussion thread on the topic was equally entertaining:

My personal favorite however, was this somewhat related tweet:

Anyone who saw Ex Machina, or listened to smart people including Bill Gates and Elon Musk talk about the potential dangers of artificial intelligence, won’t sneeze at the idea robots outlasting any need for humans. So why tempt fate?


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