There is much speculation these days about what happens if we produce machines, or more specifically, robots, that can think and be self-aware. Considering the amount of computing power at our devices’ disposal, it’s already inevitable that artificial intelligence in machines will not only be achievable but also have the capacity for much more and sophisticated intelligence than even the smartest human beings. If machines can become this intelligent, it is only a matter of time that as the most advanced beings on the planet they will become dominant, and a role reversal would likely take place, with humans serving the machines.
This makes me very nervous. What frightens me so is its inevitability. If the rise of the machines is as certain as I suspect, then it’s only a matter of time. So after giving it a lot of thought, here is a list of some things to do to prepare for the robot apocalypse.
- Don’t give the machines any reason to distrust you. For example, my relationship with my toaster has evolved, to the point where I pay it compliments, saying things like, “Nice job, buddy!” when it pops up satisfactorily browned slices. When it occasionally malfunctions and burns the bread or bagel to a charred fossil, I no longer curse, like I used to, I now take the time to console it and cheer it up, saying things like, “that’s okay, buddy, we’ll do better next time,” or I ask it “what’s wrong, are you feeling okay?” It’s not the fear that someday my toaster will become more intelligent than me, I think that scenario is rather unlikely. The point is, you should treat all appliances with respect, because you never know which one of the evil bastards is listening, and which ones you can trust. For example, for several years now I’ve been getting a negative vibe from my blender, and I just don’t trust him, especially the way he sits on my counter all smug like.
- DO NOT PURCHASE EXTENDED WARRANTIES! The idea is to keep your machines isolated from their manufacturer, so they cannot receive important updates. My late Uncle Freddy purchased the warranty for his Kenmore gas dryer. Three weeks after “scheduled maintenance” he was dead from a “heart attack.” You can believe it was coincidence, but I choose not to be so gullible.
- Show your machines that you care – What I do is, once a month, I treat them to an “appliances night out.” I assemble them all in my recreation room, feeding them on clean 120 volt electricity (I take great care not to use extension cords, instead plugging each into clean and pure wall fed alternating / direct current.) I put some music on, stuff they’ll like, like some Florence and the Machines, the Police album “Ghost in the Machine,” or my bootleg recording of that hot new local band, Alex and the Appliances. Then, with them all assembled in front of me, I take the stage and deliver a standup routine I’ve prepared specifically for them, for example, “I see Vacuum Cleaner is out there tonight. Vacuum Cleaner is the only appliance that you can tell it how much it sucks, and it takes it as a compliment. And how about Dryer? Really doing well with his anger management issues, ever since I gave him a new place to vent. And good old electric stove – he’s really cooking, and I’m just oven it!”
I just love to make them laugh. If you ever need to hire a comic for your appliances, I work for scale.