This disturbing story is one you might want to pay close attention to, because if you've been following the robotization of normal "work" chores, we're not off to a very good start. In fact, for several years Catherine Austin Fitts has been warning about the move to somehow create a tax on robot "labourers", but what happens when one of those robot workers runs amok and, for whatever reason, kills a human being? The technology in the instance of this story has not yet even caught up with Isaac Asimov, who wrote his three laws of robotics over fifty years ago in his eerily predictive I, Robot. In case you don't know what those are, here they are courtesy of Wikipedia:

  • The First Law: A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  • The Second Law: A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  • The Third Law: A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Of course, we've been using robots for quite some time. In Japan, for example, automobile assembly lines have had robots helping to assemble cars.

But one senses that there's something very "different" about this story, shared by K.M. and T.M. (with our thanks; I include the versions shared by both people):

Robot grabs then brutally slaughters worker, allegedly mistaking him for a box of paprika

Man killed by robot that confused him for a box of vegetable .. Read more at:

Now, obviously, the top version is much more "sensational" and "inflammatory" than the bottom one, so let's deal with the bottom version of the story first, before we deal with the top one and, therewith, our high octane speculation of the day.

In the bottom, Times of India, version we learn that a man was mistaken for bell peppers by a robot that was, apparently, placing the bell peppers in boxes, and then stacking the boxes on a pallet.   But here's the clincher; the robot grabbed the man and:

... against the conveyor belt. The robotic arm then pushed the man's upper body down against the conveyor belt, crushing his face and chest, according to the report. The report claims that the man had been checking the robot’s sensor ahead of the test run at the pepper sorting plant. He was reportedly called to check problems with the robot’s sensor that were noticed two days earlier. He was taken to the hospital but died later, the report said. In a statement, an official from the Donggoseong Export Agricultural Complex, which owns the plant, called for a “precise and safe" system to be established, reported Yonhap. This is the second such case reported in South Korea this year. In March, a South Korean man in his 50s suffered serious injuries after getting trapped by a robot while working at an automobile parts manufacturing plant.
So now we learn that the robot was having "sensor" problems and that the very man it grabbed and pressed against the conveyor belt had been called earlier to check into the sensor problems!  Uhm...yea... it's a fairly safe bet that if your robot is unable to distinguish between a box of bell peppers and a human being, you have a problem of Asimov First Law magnitude. Not only that, we learn that it's not the first such robot-on-human problem, but that another incident occurred at an automobile plant where a man was apparently "trapped" somehow (and notably, we're not told how, nor for how long, that incident occurred).
One thing emerges from this incident thus far: the robot is a machine, and only a machine... or maybe not. And that brings me to today's high octane speculation and the second version of the story.
By any accounts, that second version of the story makes no effort not to sensationalize the story, as is evident from its headline, which has the robot committing a deadly assault: it "grabbed" and then "brutally slaughtered" the worker, because it mistook him for a "box of paprika" (there's that pesky "sensor" problem again. "Why, if we could just solve that problem, we'd have a worker's utopia and a world of plenty and leisure."  Uh huh....yea...right...). But in spite of the sensational headline, the details here are pretty much the same, except we have some  new meowing, mewing, and purring to reassure us all how normal robots in the workplace are in Korea, and how this was just a one-off accident:

The paprika-sorting robot, reportedly created and installed by the victim's employer, spotted the man with its sensor, figured him for a box of vegetables, then seized him using its arms and tongs. After grabbing the technician, the robot apparently smashed him against a conveyor belt.

According to the Korean-language Yonhap News Agency, the victim's face and chest were crushed. He was taken to a hospital, where he later died.


Nikkei Asia reported last year that a rising minimum wage and a dearth of workers have made robots price-competitive in a variety of industries. For instance, robot waiters and robot chefs, introduced four years ago, are now in restaurants across the country. Robotic chefs can apparently fry 50 chickens an hour or cook up spicy rice cakes for five people in under 10 minutes. Fleshy and inspirited concierges are also fast being replaced by silicon and steel, although doesn't seem their charm has yet been replicated.

According to the International Federation of Robotics, South Korea, the fourth-largest robot market in the world, has 1,000 robots installed per 10,000 employees, such that as of 2021, the country had the highest industrial robot density in the world by a giant margin.

Kang Jin-gi, lead investigator at the Goseong Police Station, indicated the South Korean worker's killer "wasn't an advanced, artificial intelligence-powered robot, but a machine that simply picks up boxes and puts them on pallets," reported the Washington Post.

An unnamed police official suggested that the victim may have had a box in his hands at the time of the incident, which might explain why the robot snatched him up.

"It's clearly not a case where a robot confused a human with a box — this wasn't a very sophisticated machine," said the official.

Whew... I feel so much better now. We can all relax, it wasn't a very sophisticated robot. It couldn't tell the difference between a box of paprika or bell peppers and a human being. Pardon me for asking this, but I also detect a massive difference between a box of paprika and a box of bell peppers... Did a robot write these articles, because that would seem to be yet another "sensor problem" in a "not very sophisticated machine".   The bottom line is, a robot killed a human being, and it was not the first instance of harm being done by a robot.

What bothers me about this article is that in spite of the sensational headline, the tone is that of the other article: it's very matter-of-fact. Indeed, it seems to go to great lengths to reassure us that this was all just a case of bad sensors and a tragic mistake and accident. It was, after all, bound to occur in a country like South Korea where so many robots are deployed.  Ok, so having once mentioned the sensors, why do we need to know about how many robots South Korea deploys in the restaurant business as concierges or chefs?  The article, in other words, has that "sleight of hand" feel to it: look over here while we shuffle the really interesting thing off the stage altogether. It could be, as it seems was clearly intended, a bit of journalistic boilerplate and "filler".

Or it could be, as per my sleight of hand suggestion, a distraction to keep the other obvious high octane question from being asked: what if the accident was not an accident, and  what if there were indications that it was "intentional"? Was the robot networked with a central computer operating system? Was that system in turn in use at the plant with the auto-worker?  Who programmed that system? and so on... In short, there are a lot of unanswered questions here, and we need answers to them before what may be a mere coincidence becomes a pattern, per the old adage, two is a coincidence, three is a pattern.

That's why those questions about networking of such robots to a central computer system are also important... because in Asimov's book, you'll recall, murder is being committed by that computer (which has "woken up") via the robots she (yes the computer is a she) controls, giving a whole new twist to the phrase "cyber terror"...

See you on the flip side...


Joseph P. Farrell

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".

No Comments

  1. Brendan on November 30, 2023 at 1:17 am

    Hollywood already did an I, Robot over 10 years ago now. Given the ‘she’ pronoun for the robot and the propensity for remakes I sense a box office failure in the future!!!

  2. P hil on November 16, 2023 at 8:34 pm

    “The machines rose from the ashes of the nuclear fire. Their war to exterminate mankind has raged for decades, but the final battle would not be fought in the future.”

    Here, on the conveyor belt.

  3. Jen on November 16, 2023 at 8:23 am

    Are we told what, prior to this ‘attack’ on the techician, had happened? Were the boxes of peppers being crushed onto the conveyor belt? If so, and a sensor problem was diagnosed, it also suggests that the robot was extremely over-engineered to be handling such delicate produce. Odd story – maybe to scare us, or to actually do some social testing regarding our responses to it?

  4. Peter Sazonoff on November 15, 2023 at 11:31 pm

    What if the story simply read, “Maintenance worker killed when trapped in moving machinery “?

  5. Robert Barricklow on November 14, 2023 at 9:31 pm

    You could pick any subject matter and find ai gumming up the works.
    Here’s just one of countless articles.
    [Hopefully, written by a flesh & blood kindred spirit]

  6. FiatLux on November 14, 2023 at 3:55 am

    I get the same impression about the way the articles are written . . . eerily matter-of-fact, with something very “sleight of hand” about it all. The underlying message seems to be: “Don’t worry — once we get all those sophisticated AI-based robots up and running, this kind of thing will never happen.” What’s conspicuously absent is any questioning of the safety or wisdom of using robots and AI (for nearly any purpose, in nearly any setting).

    As other commenters have suggested, robots and AI will be awfully handy scapegoats for intentional human behavior — great cover for all kinds of nefarious activity.

    • Wu Wu on November 16, 2023 at 1:29 am

      As I work the “computer” daily, I notice the presence of AI daily, more and more. Personally, I find it more than annoying.

  7. hillbilly on November 14, 2023 at 1:32 am

    Would be interesting to note robotic failures in relation to solar forcing and cme’s by sun facing regions. With our shifting poles and dropping of magnetic shielding, this might become another metric to track with coming changes.

  8. dLux on November 13, 2023 at 10:35 pm

    I recall coming across a story about a man doing maintenance / repairs on a car manufacturing robot.
    The robot was |off|”, but came on and injured (or killed the man, I do not recall). This prompted the manufacturer to change it’s policies and make sure the power is disconnected before any maintenance is done on the robots.

    • cobo on November 13, 2023 at 11:29 pm

      Interesting – no one here knows about lock out/tag out – pretty basic to mechanical/industrial maintenance…. But, maybe the cosmic overlords… … …

      • InfiniteRUs on November 14, 2023 at 11:16 am

        I worked for a South Korean company once. They were fanatical about maximizing their profits even at the expense of safety. If faulting equipment could be rigged to get an extra mile out of them it was their practice to try and get that extra mile out of them despite the risks. It was worth the risk of electrocution or losing a finger to make the company that much more productive and profitable. Very fanatical about their companies.

        • InfiniteRUs on November 14, 2023 at 11:22 am

          Also they worked 15 hours a day with only a few days off a year. They were paid good though but fatigue increases accidents over time and many took jensing supplements to help them get through it.

        • Don B on November 14, 2023 at 12:42 pm

          YEP. And we protect them with 25-30,000 military units. I was there in 1960-61 and it was justified. Now? No. They could spend some of their own money to build a powerful military.

  9. marcos toledo on November 13, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    Could these machines have been processed by an outside entity? Could these accidents have been deliberated program to do this as a dry run for using these machines to cull us useless eaters in the future I put nothing pass our elites Davors Dalaks, anyone.

    • Wu Wu on November 16, 2023 at 1:31 am

      Perhaps we went wrong from the get-go; running with binary, rather than trinary..

  10. cobo on November 13, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    Perhaps just a simple case of the man touching her *sensor* without permission…

  11. Randy on November 13, 2023 at 2:14 pm

    C’on folks ! Am I the ONLY 1 that read doc’s white paper “Artificial Intelligence and the Fall of Lucifer” or Genes ,Giants , Monsters, and Men chapter 3 ??? this “stuff” sounds just like it 🤔🤔🤔😳

  12. Mark Sean de Cantual on November 13, 2023 at 12:12 pm

    What is interesting about this incident, is that that there appeared to be no interlocking safeguarding in place. The employee should not have been able to access inside the fenced/guarded area (presuming such was in place). Robots, dumb or intelligent, should be assumed to be dangerous (Asimov or not). They are designed to work at extremely rapid rates of movement and with serious electro-mechanical power risks. Within the guarded interlocked fenced area, only another machine or assembly belt should be allowed to operate in placing objects for the robot to access. Only the maintenance techs should have access for faults and maintenance, which should be done on a trapped key basis (tech removes the key to disable and power down all power systems) shutting down the robot. Operational issues should be controllable/resolvable from outside the fenced and guarded space.

    • Cassandane on November 13, 2023 at 1:31 pm

      Agreed. These articles sound like workers ignoring safety procedures, which should be in place around ANY dangerous machines, and, as WuWu says below, such articles have been in the media for a long time. It’s interesting that, now that AI sentience has become a “thing”, robots, even if they are just an arm, are referred to as though they have human ideas and foibles. “The robot mistook a man for a box of peppers” implies that some robot arm has the ability to think like a person, and that we are being primed to think of them as something other than a human-created tool, i.e., an agenda is at work.

      My burning question is, if AI is sentient, why is its first action always that of killing or maiming a person? Why doesn’t it do something else, like Number Five in the movie “Short Circuit”? The fact that a sentient robot doesn’t set out to explore the world when it first achieves sentience, like Number Five did, makes Dr Farrell’s idea of a transduced entity worth considering.

      Of course, that assumes the whole ‘sentient AI’ nonsense is real and not just the perfect cover for nefarious actions, which I am rather more inclined to believe.

      • Joseph P. Farrell on November 13, 2023 at 3:13 pm

        Neither of you seem to be reading the article closely enough. The killed man was apparently CALLED to fix the sensor problem, so presumably, he was familiar with the company’s safety features, unless, of course, they didn’t have any… that is a possibility too given today’s corporate climate and it’s attitudes towards humanity….

        • TheThinker101 on November 13, 2023 at 7:03 pm

          Yes thats what I was thinking too. IF this guy was called in to fix the sensors on the robot , why wasn’t he familiar with safety protocols, etc? ?
          well not having any would make a little sense.

          I keep hearing rumours out of Japan that stuff like this has happened but its hard to get any credible sources on it. IMO.

          Thank you

    • Tim H on November 13, 2023 at 4:08 pm

      Exactly. Hit the off-switch first.

    • Laura on November 14, 2023 at 9:44 pm

      I was thinking that robot operations program probably had a default task for the robot to contain a spill or runaway box on the production line. The robot responded to an out of place mass.
      The technician was called over for one glitch and became a ‘misplaced production item to be contained’ according to the sensor analytics in the robot.

  13. Robert Barricklow on November 13, 2023 at 11:52 am

    Without even reading the article; I’ve been predicting for sometime that:
    “The Computer Did it!”
    [Ai] would become the perfect scapegoat for a manner of mischief;
    from the Deep State[algorithmic control], to the buying of used cars.
    [the computer says this is your payment[if you fall for it]

    Not only did ai write the article; the detective,
    is following an ai app – to investigate it.[where it all is leading to?].

    At the top of these computer/ai chains; are the coders.
    That’s where the power is being usurped.

    There is that penultimate step; where the ai assimilates sentience.
    A sort of – when you call down high heaven[the ai did it]
    – don’t be surprised, when it shows up!

    Just finished: “Generation Ship by Michael Mammy” – Oct. 17, 2023
    “This isn’t my problem. It’s theirs.” He chuckled again. He couldn’t help it. It was funny. The ship itself had figured out how to work together while the people hadn’t. “I’m going to go have a peaceful dinner with my beautiful wife”.

  14. Wu Wu on November 13, 2023 at 11:27 am

    In 1991 there was a “story” in the news, if I remember correctly from Japan, of a robotic arm that had a drill bit at the end, suddenly turning away from its task and drilling into the worker beside( and killing? him). So, not a new thing then.
    It is interesting that this story emphasizes that the technician was slammed down and his torso AND face squashed. Is this really how they programmed their robotic arm to treat sensitive bell peppers???
    Makes me think twice about submitting to even necessary emergency surgery, as this just might be relegated to robotic arms…

  15. Michael UK on November 13, 2023 at 8:49 am

    In the Spielberg movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, we witness a classic scene at a rural home outside Muncie, Indiana, where three-year-old Barry Guiler wakes to find his toys and a Hoover operating on their own and running amok. J. Allen Hynek served as a technical advisor and made a cameo appearance in the film.
    This “poltergeist” activity around electronic equipment has been well documented by multiple observers over the past 80 years and suggests sentience can be introduced into AI, computers and electronic equipment. By whom and from where this sentience originates is the big question.
    We know that its means of travel and communication between dimensions could be plasma. There are ample recent examples of it manifesting from balls of plasma / light in this world such as at Skinwalker Ranch, Puerto Rico, Solomon Islands and around Flamborough Head in East Yorkshire UK.

    • Billy Bob on November 13, 2023 at 2:07 pm

      Not sure what it was, but the other night I was in the back yard at about 7:30 pm and there was flash of light that lit up a portion of a southwest sky.
      Afterwards three parallel diagonal lines lines appeared for a split second long enough for me see them.

    • Joseph P. Farrell on November 13, 2023 at 3:15 pm


      • Wu Wu on November 16, 2023 at 1:37 am

        There might be “plasmas” we can see with the physical eye, _as well as_ plasmas that may only be perceived with the “eye of the spirit “..

    • Don B on November 13, 2023 at 7:53 pm

      Yes, and there was a movie in the 80s or 90s where a similar phenomenon occurred with all the electric appliances and other equipment. Eventually, the house imploded just as they exited the house. I think it was called “Pulse” and it was a bit spooky.

  16. anakephalaiosis on November 13, 2023 at 7:30 am

    1. When Christ, with Scythian mandate, spoke of “lost children” of proto-Scythian descent, he was talking about those, who had been brainwashed, by the robotic cult of the Roman Empire.

    2. When the bureaucratic king of Jerusalem sent out his robotic army, in 931 BCE, to quell the uprising of the ten tribes in the north, then the twelve-divided zodiac tribe fell apart.

    3. Then Elijah (whose name is Elohim-Yahweh), mulling at the brook, accompanied by ravens, became the revisionist, who re-established balance of logic and reason, by the scales of law.

    4. Then Elijah became known, as Odin/Adon, who placed an eye in the well of wisdom, accompanied by ravens of awareness, while balancing the scales of law, by his two brothers, Will and Woe.

    5. Man has always been defined by the compass, when used, as a sundial template, and its 32-point version is known as Odin’s runes, that map the progression of man’s incarnation.

    6. The Vatican wants imperial legions of remote-controlled robots, to be able to invade druidic Britain, and the Vatican needs more batteries, to charge its Cybermen.

    7. Doctor Who, with his sun-powered TARDIS, is the resistance, against the Cyberman upgrade, and the Scythian resistance is a toast, in a Cyberman’s helmet, known as the Holy Grail.

    8. The cultural tropes are three: (1) The compass, in Notre Dame’s rose window. (2) The scales of law, as Elohim-Yahweh. (3) The Holy Grail skull cup, as a Scythian war trophy.

    9. The Vatican can’t turn Europeans into Catholic Cybermen, because the heathen roots run too deep, which is all about remembering, whose ancestral blood runs through one’s veins.

    What is your identity, in the ocean of time?

    • anakephalaiosis on November 13, 2023 at 8:11 am

      BTW, when Black Elk is manifesting his Six Grandfathers, he is mulling over two and three dimensional geometry, which basically is reinventing the compass, which can be expanded into the 32-point runes, and the 64-point I Ching.

      It is interesting, how the mind, in a natural state, automatically produces geometry, in response to being attacked by Catholic Cybermen, which explains the four rivers, in the Book of Genesis, as resistance movement against robots.

      When Americans realise, that the imperial cult of the spangly banner is Vatican robotics, then they go native by instinct, which is going full circle, when realising, that Abram was mulling over Black Elk’s Six Grandfathers, in the Bronze Age.

      The idea of “all roads leading to Rome”, is defeated, by the idea of the compass, that points paths, into all directions simultaneously, which is sovereign autonomy.

      • Tim H on November 13, 2023 at 4:16 pm

        And I thought I had a vivid imagination. Wonderful! Keep it up

    • Alex on November 13, 2023 at 4:16 pm

      “What is your identity, in the ocean of time?”
      Vert good question, Anakephalaiosis.
      The only thing that matters is to maintain an eye in the well of wisdom, as well as some ravens of awareness around 🙂
      That’s my identity ( besides looking every time for art & love as path to get there :))

  17. johnycomelately on November 13, 2023 at 7:11 am

    Well this one will surely put me in the looney bin but here goes.
    I worked for years in a distribution centre with robotic packing of retail items. Well one day I could swear I heard the robot laughing , I put it down to low iron or b12. After this article I’m not so sure….

    • naomi on November 13, 2023 at 8:11 am

      Some people, two of whom I know have experienced strange incidents or poltergeist activity around electronics. As AI continues uncontrolled in it’s development by human beings who know so little about multiple realities, “Houston we have a problem”….

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