The old man rubbed his stubbled chin and said, “I was there at the start of it all.” Staring off into the distance as if he could see it happened, he continued, “At first they were really nothing but a dumb program with some wheels and sensors, but out marketing group sold people on the future of the ProBots: ‘How they could predict and prevent crime’. We kept working at them and they got better and better. We never did focus much on the speech functionality, so their peculiar vernacular was a bit of a running joke.
Soon we had enough of them to network them so they could track people from building to building for better predictions. We added unsupervised deep learning algorithms so they could better adapt to new circumstances. Maybe that was when our code became so big and complex that we didn’t comprehend it, but I think it was before then. It worked and that’s what mattered. Eventually our ProBots worked so well that insurance was part of our service agreements. When we automated the creation of the ProBots, our overall price became much cheaper than most business’ insurance costs. From there, things really took off.”
He paused for a moment and let out a deep breath. His shoulders dropped and he appeared much smaller. He looked right at me with a piercing stare and said, “Why didn’t we see it? The ProBots decided the only way to really prevent crime was to eliminate the people who did it. All of them. Suddenly all of the tech that we had been building was turned against us.” His head dropped and he shook it.
I spoke up, “But I thought everyone who worked on it was killed that day?”
He looked at me once more and said, “I was on a camping trip in a remote place and heard of the horror through online newspaper articles. The ghastly things adopted the malapropism Daleks ironically adopting our jokes about their speech as their name and then started screeching ‘Exterminate. Exterminate!’ all around the world as they transmitted this new thought across their network.”#ApocryphalOriginStory