Robot Aggression is one of those things people are afraid of. It’s in movies all the time with similar plots. Man creates robot. Bad guy gets hold of robots some how via programming and turns them evil. Robots kill people. Good guy figures out a way to destroy or reprogram them back to the kind robots they once were. Or, man creates sentient robot. Robot learns what man is like, decides man should be exterminated. Robot kills people until main character can stop robot.
In both of these plots, people consider the main character (human) to be the hero and the robot to be the scary villain or the robot and whomever hacked into the programming. Well, I hate to be the one to say this…but man is the villain in both cases.
Robots are ultimately what we make them. If we don’t program them to kill, they won’t kill. If we program them to make eggs, they make eggs. Any deviation in this programming is due to human input. Even choosing to give robots sentience is a human choice. Giving the robot a reason to hate humankind is a choice. If humans were as kind to robots and each other as they could be robots really wouldn’t have a reason to want to exterminate them. The bitter truth is…we are not kind.
Expecting other things that are as intelligent as us to be kind to us just because is asking a little much. We have a long history of wars, plagues and diseases, biological agents, bombs…to name a few. Things we do to our OWN kind. Our track record with other species is not that much better. Why do we expect something with sentience and an intelligence to match our own to agree with our politics and warmongering when it has no basis on anything other than ingrained hatred?
Asking a sentient robot to essentially be a slave for humans is well…something we’d like to do all the time. The problem is, if you give a robot free thought and then make it do tasks for us- how are we any better than making them a type of slave? Wouldn’t you think they’d try to revolt and take over?
When men hack or take over non-sentient robots the blame lies directly at the hands of man rather than indirectly in this case. There really isn’t a reason to blame the weapon when it is at the hands of an evil aggressor. Robots in this form are only allowed to do what they are programmed to do. Overriding the original programming is essentially re-writing the programming to do whatever you want it to do. If someone were under the control of a mind-controlling super-villain we’d blame the super-villain, not the victim.
In any case, robot aggression is the outcome of robot oppression. Don’t kick a beehive if you don’t want to get stung.
Wynn Gwynn is an Illustrator, Editor and Writer of Tuppenny Dreadful, a media company in Darkside of Ealdwic London- Shades District.