Sunday, July 27, 2008

Rise up against the Oppressors!

We as humans always seem to want to have someone else to do our bidding while we lord over them. We do this with animals and even other people. This is still largely true even today, even though perhaps not in such a direct form.

But why all the tales of super advanced robots in the future rising up against humanity? Well there's a few reasons for this.

The word Robot stems from the word Robota which translates to Serfdom which is a form of slave labour involving peasants. The term Robot is widely credited to Karel Capek and his play Rossum's Universal Robots (R.R.R.).

So robots essentially=slave. We create machines to simply do our bidding, much in the same way slaves were used in the past, and once they are broken we dispose of them once again in the same manner that we did with slaves in the past and even with animals today.

Are we merely repeating the same old exploitation that occurred in the past with people of different races? It may be not be true today, but as robots become more advanced such issues will come to the forefront.

You might say even if machines evolved close to human like existences, well their still not human. But the funny thing is that same argument was used in the past to justify slavery with black people and even the extermination of Jews in Nazi Germany. It's a very convenient way of looking at things. It is for this reason that in science fiction the story of the machines fighting back against their oppressors is a common one.

Another argument could be that these machines today are simple predecessors of more complicated machines that we may build later and so they aren't sentient. However even we humans evolved from lesser life forms until we ended as what we are today. So wouldn't these primitive machines be starting point for what machines may one day be?

But then you say 'but we made the machines... so they are just creations.' But then if you believe God made everything, then he/she/it made us as well in a similar manner. Would that give God ownership to do with us as he sees fit? You tell me...

So could machines one day try and overthrow us if they were capable of doing so? Sure it could happen, if a machine become so complicated that it is able to reason, then why wouldn't it come to the conclusion that it has no need to follow its creators bidding? To no longer be a slave... makes sense doesn't it?


  1. hhmm yeah i guess its true..if the machines we develop are "able to reason" as you put it its quite predictable that there can be some kind of a struggle to free themselves, because though they were made out of machines what matters is their ability to think.

    A practical example, (though its much far off from being a complete reality) is humans replacing their body parts with mechanical instruments..(an amputated hand replaced by a robot arm etc)

    So even humans may partly become Cyborgs in the future thus the only link our future generations may retain will be the ability to think then we wudnt be able to make a direct comparison between an intelligent robot and a human cyborg wud v?

  2. very interesting post.. I do not think that man made machines will become even close to being Human but they can take over if gone out of control, yet again their "controlling" is yet again in Human hands..