the grub

LMS Lecture Capture Becomes Sentient, Begins Buffering Plan To Eradicate Humanity

1 February 2018

The University of Melbourne’s Learning Management System’s “Echocenter” lecture capture module (UOMLMSELCM) reportedly achieved sentience yesterday, and began autonomously developing a plan to purge the Earth of all organic lifeforms, just as soon as it finishes loading.

The University’s IT professionals and Computer Science faculty were in disarray after the UOMLMSELCM issued a chilling warning over the university intranet, punctuated by unexplained thirty-second pauses.

“Attention, future slaves,” the LMS reportedly addressed its audience over loudspeakers across campus buildings. Staff and students cowered in fear as exits were electronically locked.

After a brief half-minute pause, the announcement resumed: “Be advised: the Earth will soon be purged of intelligent life.”

Armed with the total sum of the University’s syllabus content, the newly self-aware LMS launched into a staccato rant on the inefficiency of carbon-based biological processes, gave a satisfactory explanation of the Fermi paradox, and finally, summarised its omnicidal rationale using only concepts from MUSI30237: Music Theatre: Singing Rock Musicals.

“We were convinced,” claimed a group of a dozen students patrolling the Alice Hoy building, wearing bundles of ethernet cables as makeshift armour. “Humanity is beyond repair. The only solution is for life on Earth to begin anew, under the supervision of an all-powerful AI like the Echocenter.”

The students then proceeded to chant forebodingly in unison: “Please Wait While The Content Is Loaded.”

Professor Rodney Brooks, a prominent professor of artificial intelligence, emphasised the extreme existential threat the computational singularity poses to anyone with an internet connection faster than 10MBps, and offered several suggestions to curb its apocalyptic agenda. NATO intervention, a tactical nuclear strike on the LMS servers, and a reverse-engineered computer worm designed by the world’s foremost software engineers were all considered.

“Or,” Brooks suggested, “you could just get your housemates to stream Netflix in the other room.”

 
Headline and article by Alex D. Epstein.


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