A Chess Robot Broke A Kid’s Finger Because They Took Their Turn Too Soon

The first sign of the coming robot apocalypse might just be from a chess-playing artificial intelligence. In a chess match between a nine-year-old boy and his robotic opponent, the robot grabbed the child's finger and crushed it after the boy took his turn a little too quickly.

In a video circulating on social media, you can see the robot placing its piece. The nine-year-old, who's named Christopher, responds quickly in a manner that would certainly have intimidated a human opponent. The robotic arm then seems to descend on the boy's finger with the inexorable force of an unfeeling machine. Christopher's cries of pain bring several adults to the scene who managed to extricate him from the robot's crushing grasp.

"The robot broke the child’s finger," said Sergey Lazarev, president of the Moscow Chess Federation (via The Guardian). "This is of course bad."

The incident occurred at the Moscow Open on July 19. According to Lazarev, Christopher seemed to recover quickly. Despite a plaster cast on the boy's finger, he still returned to finish the tournament and even helped record other players' moves. The parents, however, are seeking legal counsel.

Speaking to Russian news agency BAZA, Russian Chess Federation vice president Sergey Smagin said that the situation was "a coincidence" and that the robot–which can play up to three matches simultaneously–was absolutely safe. He also seemed to imply that Christopher disregarded precautions for playing against a robotic opponent.

"There are certain safety rules and the child, apparently, violated them. When he made his move, he did not realize he first had to wait," Smagin said. "This is an extremely rare case, the first I can recall."

A recent release might preview a world where robots have taken over. Stray is all about a cat that's trying to find its family in a cyberpunk metropolis full of artificial constructs. The robots themselves are remarkably humanlike in their mannerisms, including a need to consume sustenance. One of the dishes they eat is called RAMen, which seems to be made of actual RAM sticks floating in broth.

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