Here we observe the Suburban North American Youth in its annual autumn ritual, the strange plumage and cyclical regional migration known as Halloween.
What you may not have noticed was the Google self-driving car, lurking silently in the background, its camouflage rendering it unnoticeable to the children surrounding it. The vehicle observes, learning the migratory patterns of the young humanoids surrounding it, to use that knowledge in future encounters with the smallest of the herd.
That, with perhaps some slight artistic embellishment, updating followers to the latest in the self-driving car project. Yes, the tech giant actually invited children to play around a stationary koala-mobile, so the vehicle could learn how children roam.
"This week, lots of little ghouls, superheroes and even robots were running around Google with their families, so we asked them to hang out around our parked cars," Google writes. "This gives our sensors and software extra practice at recognizing children in all their unique shapes and sizes, even when they're in odd costumes.
"We teach our cars to drive more cautiously around children. When our sensors detect children—costumed or not—in the vicinity, our software understands that they may behave differently. Children's movements can be more unpredictable—suddenly darting across the road or running down a sidewalk—and they're easily obscured behind parked cars."
Yes—like the Predator, or Terminator, Google's autonomous pod can silently observe the interactions of the humans around it, utilizing its learning to better predict a being's next moves. You've been warned, earthlings.