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Hail the Dancing Robots!


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2020 might be the year we all try hard to forget, but among the few things worth remembering are Boston Dynamics’ dancing robots viral video. Some looked at it with horror, anticipating an AI-dominated era where anthropomorphic machines steal our jobs (already happening, duh) and lovers (give us one more decade, max). Others claimed that such a thing couldn’t possibly be real, and spread the rumor that it was all CGI (there is, however, a CGI video, made by special VFX professionals trying to explain that robots can’t be faked).

Among the precious few who acknowledged the authenticity of the footage, there were those who ranted against the “waste of money” that building these robots implied. Technology and research, however, are rarely a waste of resources.

“We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology,” said beloved astrophysicist Carl Sagan.

And Sagan is proved right. Again.

It turns out that Boston Dynamics’ dog robot “Spot” will be sent to Ukraine to sweep mines. “Spot” has the noblest mission ahead: to —as the group’s executive director Chris Whatley explained— “remove mortar shells and cluster munitions in formerly Russian-controlled areas near the capital of Kyiv.”

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This is not Spot’s first display of bravery. It has previously been used by the Massachusetts State Police to observe suspicious areas. 

In a confusing, complex world full of lies and half-truths, two things remain certain. One, whether metallic or organic, dogs are awesome. Two, science saves lives.

Pris Guinovart is a writer, editor and teacher. In 2014, she published her fiction book «The head of God» (Rumbo, Montevideo). She speaks six languages. Columnist since the age of 19, she has written for media in Latin America and the United States // Pris Guinovart es escritora, editora y docente. En 2014, publicó su libro de ficciones «La cabeza de Dios» (Rumbo, Montevideo). Habla seis idiomas. Columnista desde los 19 años, ha escrito para medios de America Latina y Estados Unidos