By Colin Deas
We live in a time that is dominated by technology. We’re always listening to music, watching TV, surfing the web, texting on our phones, or playing video games. This has inspired some people to hypothesize that technology is going to start fighting back and/or taking over our lives. There have been many movies based upon this topic, including Terminator; I,Robot; WallE; and more. So, let’s analyze Hollywood’s hypothesis, shall we?
Imagine that one day you’re standing in your kitchen, making breakfast for your family. All of a sudden, your toaster yells, “Down with humans!” and shoots toast at you. As you dodge the flying carbohydrate, the blender decides that it is time to take off its lid and spray you with the smoothie that you were making. Covered in sticky fruitiness, you reach for the towel that’s hanging on the oven door, only to find that the oven opens the door every time you reach for it, making the towel inaccessible. The mixer, the microwave, and the refrigerator all decide to join the fray and you flee the kitchen. Pulling out your cell phone, you try to call your parents. But, what? Your cell phone is displaying the message “A-HA-HA-HA-HA,” and proceeds to count down from ten. You drop it and run for cover just in time. The phone self-destructs and sends keys from the keyboard flying all around the room. You hide behind the couch and watch as people from all around the neighborhood flee their houses, chased by their household appliances.
Now, is that likely to happen? Not really, right? There are no tiny chips that allow machines to think independently, no code written by crazy programmers to overthrow humanity. So why do people make movies and write books about the machine apocalypse? Simple; because we like it.
What could possibly be more entertaining than a movie in which an action hero like Arnold plays a time-travelling robot who tries to kill people who will cause problems for the machines in the future, only to find that they’ll fight back? What could possibly be more heartwarming than a movie about a tiny trash robot helping humankind regain their ability to do anything while also winning over a female robot? Our growing interest in technology makes it more interesting for us to think about what will come from our current computers and processors. We like to think about what will come about because of our technical innovation. And we like to be thrilled. So Hollywood simply combines these factors to give us what we want. And you want to know the really cool thing? These kinds of crazy technologies may very well evolve in the future.
I’m not saying that we’ll create things that will destroy us and our civilization; it’s the opposite actually. We’ll create new medicines, computers, robots, cars, phones, spaceships, and everything else that you can think of. There are already physicists who devote their lives to breaking down the barriers between science and science fiction. There are doctors who specialize in using tiny machines to help fix the human body. And more people like this are on the way. We, the current high school students, may have someone among us who will develop a working jet pack, develop the cure for cancer, or even learn how to build on the Moon. The possibilities are endless.