As I grew up, I became more and more certain that the fear of a robot revolution against humanity was an unfounded one, and the idea of machines built by humans turning against humans without that specifically being programmed into them was ridiculous. After all, it doesn’t make sense for a machine to do anything other than what it is programmed to do. A microwave cannot, for instance, display a game of Pong on its display. Normally, anyway. By the same token, androids created to serve man would not Serve Man [to some unspecified entity that actually eats] if its programming consisted entirely of etiquette and protocol.
I realized relatively recently that maybe there’s more to it than that. Obviously a robot with specific programming will only attempt to do what it is programmed to do, but what matters is who is doing the programming. In the potentially-approaching-future, where manufacturing of all kinds is done automatically, this sort of programming could very well be done by other robots. Granted, the source of all the programming is likely to be human, but that initial humanity can easily get lost in the tides of industry and time and efficiency.
I’ll try making up an example right now.
So it starts with, let’s say, Johnny Hope (in-joke, sorry). Hope programs R0001-0001 “Roney” to determine the correct algorithms and so on that will go into the S0001 series, Roney starts with S0001-0001, which is in charge of programming the T0001 series. S0001-0001 starts with T0001-0001, which is in charge of programming the U0001 series…
This seems a little crazy, right? Why have such a long stream of robots whose entire existence is devoted only to programming other robots? Well, I was thinking about it like an assembly line sort of deal, only exponentially more complicated. If humanity ever reaches the technological prowess of being able to make robot-building robots that need little to no human input, that can easily mark the beginning of the end of the species (maybe).
All this potentiality requires is one of two things: either there is a hiccup along the way akin to an evolutionary mutation that gets propagated down the generations and happens to incorporate the endorsement of killing all life, or the machines are developed toward efficiency in their work and they “realize” that the most efficient reality is one without humans getting in the way with their irrationality and biological needs.
Anyway, all that this hypothetical scenario requires is that the humans in charge of all this are lazy enough to not check that everything is running smoothly and stupid enough to not know what to look out for. So with that in mind, yeah sure there could very well be a robot uprising in a distant future.