“Our great-grandparents loved killer robots. So do we. But why?” Daniel H. Wilson asks that question in the foreword of the short story collection he edited, Robot Uprisings, which includes work by Cory Doctrow, Scott Sigler, Charles Yu, Robin Wasserman, and many others. It’s full of stories of the near-future, when the things we created, as Jeff Abbott puts it in his piece, “wanted to be just like us.”
Since we’ve seen Terminator 2: Judgement Day and The Matrix so many times, and some of the stories in the collection leave us worrying that we might be mere months away from begging our future robot overlords for mercy, there’s no better way to prepare for the upcoming robot uprising than to read as much about them as we can.
Ray Kurzweil focuses on a couple of hypothetical situations here: when man and machine finally meet; when we’re a species humans won’t recognize, one that’s highly intelligent and built to last. It might sound like a science fiction novel, but with the data he lays out — and with the way humanity has progressed more and more rapidly in past centuries — Kurzweil’s theory is a difficult one to argue against. The robots might not rise up because we might just become the robots.