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24th April 2013

Top 5: Reasons Not to Trust Robots

Andrew Home uses movies to explain why we should be afraid of the future

5. The Matrix (1999)

The slaves become the masters. But even slaves get to live in reality. It’s difficult to get any more subjugated than having your mind trapped in an imaginary dream world while machines harvest your body’s internal energy.


4. Terminator (1984)

It’s not Arnie’s unbeatable strength or endurance that worries me; it’s his ability to adapt and learn, especially with regards to our language. The moment robots gain the ability to tell us to fuck off we might as well just give up.


3. The Stepford Wives (1975)

First they try and use us for power, then they try and change our future and now they impersonate our loved ones! A chillingly told story of how perfection and artificiality are one and the same.


2. Blade Runner  (1982)

“I’ve seen things that you wouldn’t believe”. So says Rutgar Hauer’s Ray Batty as he, perhaps, finally gains pity for humanity, the same humanity that kept his lifespan to a 4 year maximum to avoid unwanted rebellion. And thus marks the moment where robots, artificial though they may be, gained more compassion than their fleshy creators. We should all be ashamed of ourselves.


1. 2001: A Space Odyssey  (1968)

HAL doesn’t rebel against us; he sticks to his brief and carries out his mission at all costs. The only thing more terrifying than a robot rising up in defiance of humanity is a robot that sees humanity as a hurdle to jump over.

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