Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why Robots Will Never Rule the World

If you’re the average person, you never worry about robots taking over the world. Because you’re normal.

But if you’re a science fiction/fantasy/horror fan, particularly the obsessed kind, you worry about questions like this all the time. When will robots take over the world? When will aliens like the Borg or the Bugs show up in our air space to destroy humanity for no apparent reason? When will everyone realize that vampires/werewolves/ghosts/clones of William Shatner are real and living among us? It’s never an issue of “if,” only of “when.”

So when Hollywood recently announced that Steven Spielberg was making a movie called Robopocalypse, sci-fi fans everywhere squealed in delight. Not only do we finally get to see Spielberg meld his love for sci-fi and war movies (after which I assume he will finally be able to die happy, having achieved his greatest goal in filmmaking: Saving Private E.T.). But we also get to have paranoid discussions of how computers are taking over our lives, when they will become self-aware, and what they will do to us when they realize we’ve been using them to surf naughty sites and do simple math because we’re too lazy to do it ourselves.

But I want to reassure you. No matter how many times you’ve seen Terminator, no matter how much you fear your car will become possessed like Christine… Technology will never take over the world and destroy humans.

How do I know this?

Simple. Robots are essentially walking, talking computers. And computers are stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Case in point: I went to the store the other day. When the clerk rang up the M&Ms I bought, the computer spit out a coupon for me. Was the coupon for M&Ms? Of course not. The coupons that the cash register spits out are never related to products I actually buy, or brands I use often. They are always a suggestion for something else. Something I never use. Something I don’t want.

The other day, the store computer recommended I buy Raisinets next time. Because they’re healthier. (Thanks, computer health Nazis.) I know this computer isn’t smart, because I didn’t just buy chocolate. I also bought maxi pads. Because (sorry, guys) it was that time of the month for me. And as any human with a brain knows, you never, never, never mess with a woman during her time of the month when she wants chocolate. You just leave her alone.

Trust me. If that dumb cash register computer isn’t smart enough to know this about half the human population, then it isn’t smart over to take over the world in my lifetime.

So, we can all relax and face our future with confidence. And enjoy Robopocalypse without fear… unless Spielberg drops out and James Cameron or M. Night Shaymalan takes over the director’s seat. Then it’s time to run for the hills.


Extra Bonus: In case you want to survive a robot apocalypse, there's a website for that:

Copyright (c) 2010 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.

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