Fear Factors

Image: EW.com

The last time I spoke at West Point, I was asked by a cadet if I worried that increased automation would lead to an eventual robot war. I joked that I wasn’t worried about the Cylons from “Battlestar Galactica” or Skynet from the “Terminator” movies. The reason I’m not scared of these scenarios is because everyone else is.

For decades sci-fi authors have been bombarding us with images of robots rising up against their human masters. Those images resonate because they tap into a much deeper anxiety towards thoughts of becoming “robot slaves.”  Keep in mind the original Slavonic word “rabota” literally means slavery.

And that’s why we don’t have to worry about a robot uprising. The idea is just too scary to ignore.

Read more at West Point’s Modern War Institute blog.