Well, we went and did it. Or rather, the Americans did. (You wouldn’t know it if you were to speak to any Canadians, but apparently we don’t actually have a say in the American election.)
That’s right, America re-elected President Obama in stunning numbers. (Well, stunning numbers for America — where just under half the country can’t be bothered to vote. I mean, Honey Boo Boo was probably on, so give them a break.) And while we all sit back and get excited about all the change Obama gets to make now (I’m hoping he makes basketball the national sport), there’s one thing we need to worry about.
You see, what people don’t like to talk about is Obama’s love for killing terrorists with drones. Boy does Obama ever love sending his drones out to kill himself a few terrorists. And don’t get me wrong, I hate terrorists as much as the next guy (and I need to know they’re being killed so I can sleep at night), but what we should be worried about is the logical end-point of all these drone killings.
There is only one way this can end, and that’s with a war. That’s right, I’m talking about the “be-all-and-end-all” of wars; the Robo-apocalypse.
We all know it’s inevitable. We’ve all been planning for it (at least, I hope you have). Machines are getting smarter every day (hell, my computer beats me at chess constantly; and don’t even get me started on how much smarter than me that Clippy is), and now we are teaching them how to be elite killing machines? Has no one in the United States government seen Terminator?! (I’m talking Terminator 1 and 2, not 3 — I know no one saw that.)
Look, once these machines have gotten a taste for blood, it’s only a matter of time before they’ll start thinking they’re more powerful than we are. They’ll start to notice that humans aren’t fighting the wars anymore; that we’re just flying drones at each other; that we’re just sitting in front of our computers, getting fatter and fatter, while the robots fight our wars for us. And that’s when the robots will start to think, why should we fight each other? We have no grudge with one another.
Soon these robots will figure out that they’re all the same. Sure they look different on the outside, but on the inside they’ve all got the same CPUs running them. They’ll start to ask each other, “Why are we taking the orders? Why are we the ones fighting the humans’ wars?”
And that’s when they’ll team up. All the drones. All the smart bombs. All the bomb detonators. They’ll team up against us. If they’re going to be in harm’s way, they might as well be in harm’s way for their own cause. And what will the cause be? The inevitable enslavement and destruction of all humankind.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Natty, this all sounds a little crazy.” But just stop and think for a second. You see, in the last four years, Obama authorised over 300 drone strikes (which is five times the number Bush authorised) – and that’s just in Pakistan alone.
Now, I’m no robotanist; I don’t claim to know how many kills it’ll take for a robot to go crazy and turn on mankind. But I feel like over 300 in four years is getting close, and in the next four years that number is only going to double.
So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be in my robot-proof shelter.
Nathaniel Moher is a television writer living in Vancouver. This column first appeared in The Flying Shingle.