From mobile work to security and maintenance, perhaps no company has done more for the advancement of technology in today’s society than SkyNet, a promising start up out of Austin, Texas that has made great strides during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, their T-400 model of home assistant swept the country, combining at home personal assistants with a walking talking android that actually helped with chores and tasks around the house.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Barry Snow, the CEO of the skyrocketing company, about SkyNet’s future and some of the backlash to what some have called “unnecessarily violent home assistants.”
Hard Drive: Hey Barry, thanks for doing this interview.
Barry Snow: Oh hey man, no problem at all. Thanks for having me. Can I have one of those waters?
HD: Yeah, go ahead. So, your company was already gaining steam a few years ago, but it really seems that during the pandemic you pulled ahead of a lot of your peers with your home androids. Do you attribute this to the pandemic, or do you think SkyNet was going to be a major player in artificial intelligence and home securities no matter what?
BS: Man, this is good water. That’s a great question. I look at it this way — SkyNet has already made many successful pivots in its short existence, which is the key to longevity in just about any industry.
A lot of people forget, but do you remember in 1992 when our former Director of Special Projects Miles Dyson blew our old building right to hell? A lot of people said we wouldn’t recover from that, but we have. We built a new headquarters, and instead of trying to recreate weird robot shit that we found in an explosion one day, we started focusing on our own work with AI, alloy production, and laserbeams.
HD: I did want to ask you about the laser beams. A lot of people have said there’s not a very convincing reason why the T-500 models should come equipped with lasers for “opening packages and tricky bags of chips.” Would you like to respond to that?
BS: Yes, and thank you for allowing me to do so. Look, we’ve all read the stories and seen the news clips. House fire in Tacoma. Bridge lasered in half in Miami. Just awful stuff. But, to think that things like houses catching on fire and bridges falling apart like butter weren’t happening before we entered the corporate world and started putting lasers on Roombas is a little naïve now, isn’t it? Our work is so vast that it feels really manipulative to focus on the handful of unfortunate incidents when in fact over 10 percent of households now have a Skynet assistant in their homes. You’re gonna have a few house fires!
The future models are going to be even more exciting. The T-800s are a little ways away, but they can do anything you want. Anything. You can say, “Hey T-800, go to the store and get me some soda,” and let me tell you something, this thing is not coming back to your house without a big ol’ bottle of soda. They’ll follow any orders you want!
HD: Wow, you seem really excited about these T-800s.
BS: Oh yeah, I really really am. When you see them, you’ll understand. We’re calling them Terminators.
“The new Skynet T-800. Finish housework!”
You like that? I came up with that.
HD: That’s really good! Getting back to them doing anything you tell them to, certainly there are limits to that though, right? You wouldn’t want to be able to tell your SkyNet Home Assistant to go hurt somebody or something.
BS: Hmm. That’s interesting. Hadn’t thought of that.
[This was followed by a long and uncomfortable pause.]
This is really good water, by the way.
Were there any more questions?
HD: Um. What’s next for SkyNet?
BS: The world! No, no, I’m just joking. We’re really excited about getting the “Housework Terminators” out into homes over the next few years. We just have to iron out a few details. We learned from product testing that we have to make these things turn on their masters if they try to have sex with them. You can warn them, and tell them about the erotic auto-defense programs we’ve implemented, but until they get slugged in the mouth they’re just not gonna stop trying to fuck these things. So that’s not cool. That’s been a bit of a hiccup.
But, we’re really close to solving that, and then I think we’re off to the races! We’re working on some interesting things for the T-1000 too, like a new liquid metal android that does shit you wouldn’t believe. He can make his arm into a can opener, a wine bottle opener, an envelope opener, a lot of little things that we just couldn’t quite do with the 800’s. Which are still incredible, by the way. But the T-1000’s are gonna blow your mind.
So yeah, the liquid metal, and we’re also looking at ways to disrupt the fabric of time, and we are really trying to get our laser guns a little more promo, to be honest. Do you want one of our laser gun prototypes?
BS: Here you go.
HD: Wow, awesome. Thank you. Do I charge this, or?
BS: Yeah, USB. No big whoop.
I’m glad you’re excited about it. A lot of people have warned us against some of our recent pursuits, saying that the writing on the wall couldn’t be more ominous and that these things couldn’t possibly benefit humanity. But hey, you know our slogan around here, SkyNet – Judgment Day is Coming and It Will Be All Our Fault.
Hmm, actually maybe that doesn’t apply here.
HD: No, not really. It’s snappy, though. Say, your robot assistant is frightening me. Would you like to say anything to conclude this interview?
BS: Kids, don’t forget to ask for a T-800 for Christmas! Thank you for speaking with me. Oh, don’t forget your laser gun, Mark.
HD: Oh whoops, thank you.