How To Survive A Robot Uprising
by Daniel H. Wilson
Taking the “worst case scenario” craze to its logical (illogical?) conclusion, Mr. (soon to be Dr.) Wilson gives us a handy guide to, well, surviving a robot uprising.
You know they’re out there. You’ve seen them. Shuffling around, performing their assigned duties. Their motions are always mechanical, but only vaguely so. Enough for suspicion, nowhere near enough for conclusion. Every day, you walk past them, as they ferry their “coffee” to their desks, where they punch at keys in a sequence that is indecipherable to you, but numbingly, staggeringly boring to them. These people are your coworkers, and they’ll be depending on you when — not if — the robots decide they’ve had it.
Wilson’s sleek black-silver-red tome is glossily impervious to even the most corrosive hydraulic fluid, and comes chock-full of useful advice, ranging from recognizing the signs of machinery dissatisfaction and impending revolt, to fooling the damn devices and their algorithms, to incredibly valuable specifics like escaping from a smart house. Accompanied by sharp illustrations in the color theme, the writing is precise and informative in all manners related to the coming dei ex machina — no nut is left untorqued.
Before you go and dismiss this as simple satire (has your dishwasher ever turned on you?), let me say that this is all built on sound technology that is already in place all around us. The author knows his business, and this is no cheap sci-fi stunt. Face recognition, heat beams, ultrasonic perception … unarmed warriors, microdrones. Every once in awhile, a glimpse of technological surveillance and power is revealed to the public, and we wonder just how much remains unrevealed. And ultimately, what difference is there in who wields this machinery? A medicated megalomaniac or refrigerated banks of nanomemory? We’ll save that discussion for another time.