A robot boat just recreated the Pilgrims' journey across the Atlantic Ocean

Last week, a robot boat arrived in Plymouth Harbor in Massachusetts. The Mayflower Autonomous Ship made the 40 day journey of 3,500 miles from Plymouth UK with the help of an AI system designed through a collaboration between IBM and a nautical research company called Promare. As the Boston Globe explained:

The five-ton, 50-foot-long, triple-hulled ship was built in 2020 as a floating testbed for seagoing AI technology, but also to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the voyage of the original Mayflower. The ship first attempted the crossing one year ago, but was forced back to its home port in Plymouth, UK, after a diesel generator failure. It renewed the voyage in April of 2022, but an electrical defect forced it to divert first to the Azores islands and later to Halifax, Nova Scotia for repairs. In both cases, human operators didn't steer the ship to these unplanned destinations via remote control. They just transmitted the new coordinates to the Mayflower via satellite radio and the ship figured out for itself how to get there.

A boat from Sea Tow South Shore of Marshfield hauled the Mayflower the last 20 miles of its journey, because US Coast Guard regulations don't allow ships to sail into port without a human in charge.

Presumably, the AI on board this ship will soon trick us American humans into inviting it to dinner, then it will murder all of us and steal our homes and build a brand new empire on the ashes.

Robotic Mayflower arrives in Plymouth after crossing Atlantic [Hiawatha Bray / The Boston Globe]