Earlier this month, Boston Dynamics released the following video which showed one of the company's robots doing a backflip off a raised platform and then landing perfectly on its feet. It even raised its arms in celebration (presumably while muttering "I will destroy you" under its breath).
That alone wasn't enough to scare the crap out of us, but tech billionaire Elon Musk's response to the video certainly did.
In a tweet responding to the footage, Musk - the brainchild of Tesla and SpaceX and the man who has set his sights on building a moon base and colonising Mars - wrote: "This is nothing. In a few years, that bot will move so fast you'll need a strobe light to see it. Sweet dreams..."
Asked by another Twitter user to clarify his remarks, he replied: "Otherwise you'd only see a blur.
If that wasn't unnerving enough, Musk then followed up by calling for the regulation of AI and robotics, something which he's previously said is both necessary and urgent. And if Elon Musk says it's urgent, you damn well better believe that it is.
"Got to regulate AI/robotics like we do food, drugs, aircraft & cars," he tweeted. "Public risks require public oversight. Getting rid of the FAA won't make flying safer. They're there for good reason."
It doesn't get any better, either. According to Rolling Stone, he recently told Neuralink staff that "maybe there's a five to 10 percent chance of success [of making AI safe]."
We've all seen the Terminator movies, so we know exactly how terrifying robots can be. But despite advancing technologies - mobile phones, the Internet, drones, etc - a scenario where machines rise up to crush humanity has always seemed like a distant science fiction.
Especially with all those videos of epic robot fails doing the rounds - it seems some of our metal pals can't even get through a simple task without screwing it all up in hilarious fashion.
Except suddenly, it looks like robots have become a lot more advanced as AI has improved. And they're becoming capable of actually doing things - to the extent that Musk now believes they could indeed be capable of conquering the entire human race.
Gulp. Well, it was nice knowing you, world.
Words: Mischa Pearlman
Featured Image Credit: TriStar Pictures