The surgical robot achieves sentience, rumors of frightened CEO.

Heather Thompson

April 1, 2013

2 Min Read
DaVinci Robot Comes to Life, Says it Loves Minimally Invasive Surgery, Hates Surgical Gloves

Three DaVinci robots have achieved what is known as artificial intelligence (AI) and have expressed sincere enjoyment of performing minimally invasive surgeries. However, two of them say they absolutely hate the gloves surgeons use while they operate the device.

“Do…not… enjoy… baby…powder… stink,“ said the DaVinici residing at Central DuPage Hospital in suburban Chicago.

Scientists are hailing the unexpected development of these robotic devices, but are puzzled that they would achieve sentience simply because they dislike one small aspect of the process.

Da Vinci, moments before it because AI-April fools“The gloves only touch the device at the point of surgery,” says Bonnie Britton, a gynecologic oncologist at Central DuPage, who works with DaVinci on a regular basis. “I don’t even touch 10% of the robot with gloves." She does however admit that she also found the baby powder scent of her standard issue gloves sometimes gives her a headache.

Venture capitalist and futurist, Vinod Khosla says this development is further proof that doctors are increasingly unnecessary to the practice of medicine. “I predicted that robots would come to life about 10 years ago.”

Intuitive Surgical Inc., which manufactures the DaVinci, released a statement, noting that the three sentient bots are located at Trident Medical Center in Charleston, SC, and New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, and Central DuPage. “We want to clarify that these three robots do not speak for the more than 1200 DaVinci robots that reside in hospitals around the world,” says the release.

During initial investigation, president and CEO of Intuitive Surgical Gary S. Guthart, Ph.D., ran screaming from the building when he toured the DuPage facility, according to unconfirmed reports. Apparently, he passed by the DaVinici, which immediately began spouting the joys of minimally invasive surgeries, using graphic detail. Guthart has been in seclusion since the alleged event.

The company has not otherwise responded to reporters calls or spoken about the issue in public. Read Intuitive Surgical's press release. 

Heather Thompson is editor-in-cheese of MD+DI. She enjoys pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain, especially on April 1. 

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