Charlie Brooker has a pretty bleak vision of the future, as anyone who has watched an episode of his dystopian sci-fi anthology series will attest.
In the past, several of Brooker’s storylines on the show have ended up being echoed in real-life whether it’s webcam hacking blackmail scams, face-swapping technology or politicians allegedly getting it on with pigs.
Now another of his Black Mirror prophecies is beginning to come true and it’s one that should leave you feeling utterly terrified.
The Black Mirror episode Metalhead, from the recent series on Netflix, ranks among the most straightforward in the entire series.
Filmed entirely in black and white, it followed Maxine Peake, whose character is chased across a barren, post-apocalyptic wasteland by a series of robot guard dogs.
The concept of robot dogs isn’t new as such; Boston Dynamics unveiled its SpotMini four-legged robot dog well over a year ago.
These robo-canines were already capble of opening doors and walking through unchallenged but in a new development it would appear that the SpotMini is being trained to fight back against human aggressors.
A video uploaded to the internet shows the SpotMini entering a room while coming under attack from a man with a hockey stick.
That mere mortal is no match for the relentless robot though, who is able to ward off his attacks and get through the door.
Boston Dynamics described the video as “a test of SpotMini’s ability to adjust to disturbances as it opens and walks through a door” because “the ability to tolerate and respond to disturbances like these improves successful operation of the robot”.
That might all seem like fun and games for now, but it’s clearly only a matter of time before these robot dogs are capable of fighting off foes with more considerable force.
And then comes the end game: robot dogs as security guards, trained down to hunt down and eliminate intruders.
That prospect is still some way off, but it would appear that the wheels are very much in motion to turn one of Brooker’s fictional creations into scientific fact.