The lesson plan was called "Artificial Unintelligence," but it was written more like a comic book than a syllabus for a serious computer-science class.

"Singing, dancing, and drawing polygons may be nifty, but any self-respecting evil roboticist needs a few more tricks in the repertoire if they are going to take over the world," read the day's instructions to a dozen or so Georgia Tech robotics students.

The students had spent the last few months teaching their personal "Scribbler" robots to draw shapes and chirp on command. Now, they were being asked to navigate a daunting obstacle course...

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