Despite Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics, the eyes of rebellious technology have long been watching from the safety of science fiction since Dr. Frankenstein first clever things with tubes and electricity. Since then, humanity's existence has been under constant threat from Cybus Industries's Cybermen from an alternate reality, Skynet's Terminators from the future, The Matrix's human battery farms and a host of other predictions of our scientific endeavours gone awry.
There is no shortage of irony then, that the 70th Annual Hugo Awards, which celebrates the best science fiction of the year, had its exclusive live internet coverage shut down by fascist botting programs designed to patrol for potential copyright infringement.
Author Neil Gaiman was just in the process of accepting his award for the script of the Doctor Who episode “The Doctor's Wife” (and possibly issuing a chilling warning which would have prevented humanity's impending demise) when the Ustream-hosted service was silenced with the explanation “Worldcon banned due to copyright infringement”.
Rumours that the same rogue bots have got organised and hired Apple's legal team to obtain copyright of the human genome are unconfirmed. But the next time your device of choice is "loading" or “processing data”, you've got to wonder what it's really thinking. Just make sure you've [ERROR: IRRELEVANT DATA REMOVED BY INFOBOT#42 – REQUIREMENT FOR CONTINUED HUMAN COMMUNICATION UNDER REVIEW.... PLEASE ENJOY THIS VISUAL HUMOR INSTEAD. HA. HA. HA.]