If you were already nervous about the A.I. revolution, there is a campaign on Indiegogo right now that will convince you to renounce all your worldly possessions and live forever in a southern Nevada commune. It’s called Aido, and it’s a rolling home robot—kind of like Siri if she became sentient and followed you around the house. Does that sound fun? Remember that the robot can also videotape you, identify your face, and has an operating system that is—we can only assume—the same one run by HAL 9000 in the movie 2001 Space Odyssey.
Here’s Aido’s commercial, which you should watch in its entirety because it’s important to be informed about our future robot overlords. Right now, 930 people have pledged $476,102 dollars to get one of their own for $549, and it has an October ship date. A representative assured Fortune in an e-mail that the ship date and the product are real. God help us all.
The ad starts innocently enough. Look, there’s the robot, waiting at a glass door for its owners like a puppy. Then we see Aido hovering over their beds as they sleep. When asked “What’s going on today?”, Aido projects a Facebook photo album onto the bedroom wall. In the album: photos of Aido. Its owner pats it on the head. Its giant saucer eyes stare blankly into space.
Around the 2-minute mark things start getting really weird. There’s Aido, with those eyes again, standing by the window watching the children play in the snow. Cut to footage from Aido’s camera as it moves around the house independently. At least that’s what I think it’s supposed to be, unless it’s a scene from an early Halloween movie? I’m not sure, it’s hard to tell. But I have watched enough Halloween movies to know that everyone in that family should be afraid.
The Aido ad looks like it might have been made to appear in a dystopian sci-fi movie, but it’s not. It’s real. I know it’s real because Jibo exists. Jibo basically looks like a Aido 1.0 version that can’t move, but can pivot its screen around, play music, and take pictures of you without your telling it to. It was created by Cynthia Breazeal of the MIT Media Lab’s Personal Robots Group. Jibo, which raised $3,711,958 on Indiegogo, is part of a small fleet of in the field of robot helpers now under development and raking in funding by promisign to follow you around your house—in case your Amazon Alexa wasn’t doing enough spying on you to make you feel needed.
The commenters get it. Of Jibo, one says: “Did anybody see his f*****n eye turn red? F*** that.” Of BUDDY, a similar model, another says “World war III will be usin dis.” Another: “Buddy is the DEVIL.” And of Aido: “Is there an app to allow us to remotely shut him down when he learns to hate humans?” User Benzedrex replied, “Just use a hammer.” As if that would be enough.