Artist Uses Google Assistant to Fire a Gun Remotely

An artist has used a Google Home device and a gun to raise questions about the use of AI.
Jessica Miley

An artist has rigged up a setup to fire a gun that is triggered by his Google Home device. Alexander Reben is an MIT-trained roboticist who aims to explore humanity through the lens of art and technology.

In this artwork, he creates a weapon from the ubiquitous AI device posing questions about the way AI influences our lives. In the video, you can see a Google Home device surrounded by various other tech paraphernalia, when Ruben says “Hey Google, activate gun”, the pellet gun fires at an apple close by. 

According to ExtremeTech the contraption works ‘by way of a linear actuator that tightens a string looped around the trigger.’ The 'activate gun' command has been designed to turn on a switch that powers the actuator that tightens the string. 

While the device is no means a deadly weapon, the setup does ask the viewer to consider questions of how easily automated weapons are to manufacture and who is responsible for their actions? In this case, Reben doesn't touch the gun but is obviously in command of the Google Home Assistant. 

Reben argues that despite what people think, technology is actually ‘super natural’. Because it is completely fabricated by us it is inherently very very human. Reben aims to challenge the way people view technology as separate to humans. 

A word of warning - this video may trigger your Google Home device, but as long as there are no weapons attached it should be ok.