So you think robots are a modern day concept and phenomenon?  In actuality, the concept goes back as far as the ancient Greeks in the 13th century BCE.

As Jason and the Argonauts sailed home with the Golden Fleece, they stopped to rest on the Island of Crete.  There, they were attacked by a giant robot that protected King Minos.

The bronze android named Talos was built to be able to throw huge rocks at foreign ships approaching the island.

The sorcerer, Medea saved Jason by hypnotizing the robot.  Finally, a bronze rivet was removed, causing the life fluid of the robot to drain out.

The ancient Greeks described Talos as an automaton, yet with a brain, therefore more than a machine.

The story is now taken as a cautionary tale about giving machines the power to kill when they lack capacity to make moral judgments.

Hephaestus created a quiver of drone-like arrows that could never miss and a mechanical dog than always caught its prey, a pair of bronze bulls and a fleet of self-driving cauldrons that acted as butlers for the Gods.

The Odyssey described autonomous, crewless ships that sailed in any weather and could find a port on their own.

Pygmalion fell in love with an artificial woman he created.

Mechanical beasts and moving statues were attributed to the mythical inventor Daedalus.

Many of these myths presage modern science fiction like “Metropolis,” “Blade Runner,” and “Terminator.”, suggesting machine intelligence, autonomous weapons, human augmentation and artificial life.

Aristotle considered the use of machines in place of slaves and the prospect of technology creating unemployment.

One tale in “Alexander’s romance,” tells of a 1,000 strong troupe of fire-breathing mechanical Calvary supposedly built for Alexander the Great by his vizier, Aristotle and sent into battle against the war elephants of Porus of India.

And so it shows that what men have dreamed in the past can be a reality for those in the future.

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