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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
New media, interactive devices, smart watches and a totally automated lifestyle are all facets associated with 2015’s technological leap forward, and the focus of many companies and individuals worldwide.
Yesterday, however, the most bizarre combination of automated robotics, digital currency and e-commerce resulted in a Swiss robot committing a crime by purchasing an illegal product via the dark web, using Bitcoin.
Whilst such a circumstance may appear to resemble a figment of the vivid imagination of a science fiction enthusiast, this is no fiction.
A group of artists in Switzerland programmed a robot to scour the dark web and buy $100 worth of random goods each week using a regular Bitcoin allowance, and among the plethora of interesting artifacts purchased which include a Hungarian Passport, and baseball bat containing a hidden camera, managed to land itself on the wrong side of the law by purchasing ecstacy.
According to reports by several mainstream media sources, the purpose of the exercise was to display the items purchased at an art exhibition in order to reveal the less salubrious aspects of the internet, however the experiment backfired when Swiss Police became aware of the robot’s activities and seized the computer along with the illegal items that it had purchased.
Rather unusually, the artists were not charged with any drug-related offences as the had not intended to sell the ecstacy, or to use it. Instead, the Police returned the computer and other non-drug related paraphernalia to the artists, who exclaimed that it was “a great day for the freedom of art.”