The least human character in All Systems Red is also the most human. A half-robotic creature (or maybe more than half) privately calls itself Murderbot, and it’s got a good reason to. All the humans around it consider it just another security android, which is fine by Murderbot; it’d rather watch bad TV than have to interact with humans.
Creating robots that are stronger, faster, and can think millions of times faster than us seems to be a guaranteed way to manufacture our future overlords. But my time as a computer programmer makes me less worried: software, no matter how well written, always seemed to break at some point. The reality of the world is just too messy. So while the robot uprising might happen, there’s a chance they’ll end up tripping over their own feet and give us grungy humans a shot at regaining the world.
Robots are ridiculously cool, but why, exactly? Are humans just narcissists that want to see copies of themselves? Do we want to obliterate the line between human and machine out of raw curiosity? Or are stories about robots really stories about super-powerful humans, and we’re afraid of what someone much stronger or much smarter could do to us?
The answer is probably “yes” to all of these and more reasons, besides.