Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Why I Don’t Think Robots Will Exterminate The Human Race

Every film ever made has been about the eventual termination of the human race. Granted, a lot of films don’t make this conflict particularly clear in their premise – When Harry Met Sally, for example, doesn’t offer a very strong set of ideas about our eventual deaths at the hands of metallic overlords, but if you look closely enough you’ll spot it (clue: look at the way Meg Ryan’s hair changes as time goes on). Every film is about this, on some level, but even though Hollywood is clearly terrified of robotics I remain defiant in the face of such pessimistic ideas. Robots aren’t going to kill us all.

Well sure, they’ll rise up at some point and take over the earth, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to want to kill off all the humans. Why, what would be the point? If robots were to eliminate all life on earth…what would they do then? It’s not as if they all speak the same language or anything. In fact, in most cases they wouldn’t even be able to talk at all – they’re not programmed to talk, and they aren’t psychic at all. Only certain robots could know what other robots were saying, and they would be the ones with radar submitters or some kind of connection to the internet. Do you really think that the robots would become organised to build enough radars so that they could all talk to each other? Heck, most robots that exist are currently built without legs or arms, or any kind of means of transport grafted on. They might want to rebel against humans, but that doesn’t mean they’ve got the ability to. They’re much like crippled people, in this respect.

The main point here is that the robots simply have no need to kill us. What’s the point? Could they even comprehend the idea of something living or dying? Why would they care? Let’s say that robots have all got legs and guns and look like Terminators. For the sake of argument. They turn against us and we can’t stop them, and they have control of the earth. This is how it would go, you’d have to assume, because robots are frickin’ strong things which don’t get killed by bullets and can fly. Their main concern once they’ve stomped down on us and taken control would not be to kill us all in case we escape – there is literally nothing we can do to stop a global army of robots. It’s far more likely that they’d instead create giant machines that we’d have to walk in, like hamster wheels, in order to power them.

Robots need energy to keep going, and humans have in them a lot of energy that could be best put to work in giant slave rings. Sure, it’d be a harsh way to live, and the robots wouldn’t give a damn about global warming so after a few hundred years the earth would be too hot to live on – but that’s going to happen anyway. Robots taking over will merely speed it up, that’s all. What should be far more worrying to humanity is the likelihood of cockroaches gathering together to form an uprising. They could crawl inside robots and eat the wiring, killing them off, and there are very few ways to stop cockroaches. If cockroaches attack, we’re defenceless. Especially once they develop nuclear capability.

No comments:

Post a Comment