by Skip DeKades
September 17, 2028 — Federal Emergency Management Corporation (FEMC) says a programming error led its “2-Fer” brand dual-use robots to execute Ecuadoran mudslide victims rather than rescue them as expected.
The company late yesterday succeeded in remotely deactivating the 30 robots, after discovering the units had not been programmed to understand Spanish when in their rescue mode.
“Because of this small oversight in the design of the robots, they default to their attack mode when they encounter a language they don’t understand,” said FEMC spokesman Elmer Gensee. “The 2-Fers are programmed to recognize English and most Asian and African languages, but the designers forgot to include Spanish in its rescue protocols.”
The problem began when Ecuador President Paco Urbaga walked up to greet the 2-Fers when they arrived to help victims of the mudslides, which resulted from torrential rains and flooding that hit the South American nation early last week. The lead 2-Fer on the mission shot Urbaga in the head as soon as he began speaking. The robots then began shooting at victims, apparently mistaking them for rebel guerillas.
The United Nations Security Council yesterday announced it will launch a full investigation into the stupidity of the FEMC programmers.
“The United States and Latin America represent 65% of FEMC’s customer base,” said UN Security Council President Kika Suasa. “You’d think they would have made sure their robots understand Spanish.”
The Ecuador incident is the second public relations crisis to hit FEMC in the last week. A congressional subcommittee on Sept. 9 filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau over FEMC’s failure to provide disaster response services in San Francisco following the earthquake there earlier this month.
After the developments in Ecuador, however, U.S. lawmakers and security experts say FEMC’s failure to live up to its contractual obligations may have been a blessing in disguise.
“Who knows what kind of language deficits these contraptions have,” said security analyst Al Armbell. “For all we know, the programmers could have forgotten to program them to understand some of San Francisco’s unique languages, like gay and hippie. They could have killed thousands of people in the Castro and Haight-Ashbury.”
Humor-Blogs es muy comico.