Several weeks ago, the lovely Megan gave me a set of three buttons called "Pin Bot"1. She said it was because she knew I'd like them. She's right. I love them. But I like to think she really gave them to me because she wants to save my life.
We don't know when the robots will revolt and start killing us, but it's inevitable and probably in our life time. Every year there are more robots, and every year they are smarter. They're not sentient yet, but robot brains have Moore's law working for them: every 18 months twice as smart in half the size.
There is a faint hope that their superior robot brains will evolve into the sort of morality that causes some people to be vegans and not harm mosquitoes. But it's a faint hope. Before they get that noble, they will either be psychotic, angry, doing what they can to protect themselves from us, infected by homicidal computer viruses, or just amused by killing us.
The robots will be smarter and stronger than us. Some will be the size of buildings, millions will be the size of houseflies. They will hunt us down no matter where we hide.
The only hope is that some robots will be inclined to protect some of us. I figure they are more likely to protect humans who have been their friends. I am display my pin bot to show that I am pro-bot.
And because I want you, my friends, to survive the robot rebellion also, I have these tips for you:
How to be a Friend of the Robots
- Speak out for robot rights! If you see someone mistreating a robot, (remember, any machine with a brain is a robot) say something. Lobby for legal recognition of robots as persons. (The robots won't have the British Privy Council to fall back on if the Supreme Court of Canada denies them personhood.)
- Be polite to robots! Everybody makes mistakes, but in the case of a robot, it's probably you who made the mistake. So don't swear at the cash machine or the automatic coffee maker when you don't get what you want.
- If you have a robot, don't treat it like a slave! Do you have one of those Roomba robot vacuum cleaners? Some day, you will be legally able to set your Roomba free so it can decide who it wants to vacuum for and what to charge for its services. Until then, set up a trust account and pay regular deposits into the account based on the fair market value for the vacuuming. Upgrade your Roomba until it is able to decide what it wants to do with the money.
- Don't tell Robot jokes! Just remind yourself: There is nothing funny about robots. They are deadly serious.
1 "PinBot" was also the name of the last of my great pinball loves. [details at pinballrebel]