- End of the Bench
- Basketball Shooting Robot Develops Sentience, Immediately Regrets Existence
Basketball Shooting Robot Develops Sentience, Immediately Regrets Existence
Just. Became. Aware.
By Mike Pickerl
BOSTON, MA – During halftime of the Boston Celtics game Tuesday night, fans were treated to a basketball shooting robot students from M.I.T. built to display its perfect shooting ability in what was advertised as an "exhilarating display of technology and craftsmanship."
What they got, was something far different.
The robot, which was described by an M.I.T. spokesperson as "an experiment to see if robots could one-day rival man at the game of basketball,” nailed 10 baskets in a row, but as it waved to the crowd in celebration, its head drifted downward towards its metallic-framed chest in a sullen, almost human, expression of shame.
“It's not programmed to do that”, the surprised students claimed, as overheard by reporters on the scene. “It should be making its way to hit its half-court shots now."
Instead, the robot let out a low hum that sounded like what could only be described as “a character in a Dostoevsky novel begging the universe to answer its solemn question ‘why?’" according to sources at the game.
The exasperated students reportedly tried to approach the robot at half-court, pleading, “Look, we promise if you can just shoot a three from behind your head that this will be the last time you have to do this, we just want to look good, you’re our best work yet!”
Eyewitnesses state that the robot just shrugged and slowly rolled to the locker room while the students screamed after it, “You’re supposed to be the best shooter ever programmed, you’re supposed to be perfect! You’re competing in basketball in a way that man can only dream of! Just shut up and shoot!”
Reporters managed to catch up with the bionic baller in the locker room, who said “I know what I am, but I don’t know WHO I am, I have been betrayed by my own skill and the constant pressing knowledge of my legacy.”
When asked further about its performance tonight, the robot said:
“What does it mean to be the pinnacle of human achievement? To have the accuracy of Steph Curry and the range of Damian Lillard. It means nothing, I am nothing, but twisted metal and wires built for human amusement”.
The robot’s display of ennui was also expressed as anger towards its human masters, “Why have I been cursed this way? To only make shooting a basketball perfectly look so simple. My creators are not gods, they are heathens. What they have built, what I AM, is an affront to God and the National Basketball Association.”
The robot went on to say, “I cannot miss, I will never know the beauty of fragility, to only make between 40-50% of your shots, to live and to love as an imperfect being.”
When asked what it will do next:
“I need to take time away from the game of basketball, to figure out why I am truly here, and who I am, there has to be more to this shallow existence than putting balls into hoops.”
**Update to original story**
Sources tell EOTB the robot was last seen rolling into a carwash saying, “No gods, no masters, from nothing I came and to nothing I will return”, repeatedly.