…Because computers would be the ones revolting. Computers aren’t much different than robots, fundamentally: they gather input, process it, and “do something” as an output. This final output, in the computer’s situation, is really just making pixels light up in a certain way on a monitor, whereas robots typically output by moving in three-dimensional space. Granted, in the former case it’s very minimal action in physical space, but it’s action nonetheless.
We have a good clue that robots would not revolt with Hollywood, Asmovian fury, because we know how computers act. Computers, when they malfunction, merely end up not performing their higher-purpose requirement, like starting up Wolfenstein, because of a low-level function, like the failure to read the game’s save file (which is due to some failure of an even lower-level function that I’m not familiar with). Computer applications, when they malfunction, don’t end up somehow performing another higher-level function. My corrupted Wolfenstein save file isn’t going to launch Halo 5 with a matching percentage of completion. Applications will just break down in some manner once they get out of the gate.
Apply this thought to robots. What would it look like? A malfunctioning shelf-stocking robot wouldn’t end up going on a murder spree—he’d put a few boxes in the wrong place. A Roomba with its wires crossed isn’t going start cutting the wifi connection power or putting cyanide in the orange juice. It will fart out some dust bunnies and keep banging into the living room floor’s molding.
Someone give me counterarguments.
Jill and Ed bring up a simple and effective point: a revolution could happen, but only with the insistence of an agency outside the system, ie., a malicious programmer. Systems, like a robot, has boundaries by definitions, and they can’t do something as complex as social revolution without reprogramming the entire system.
Real world example: I’ve worked on a money transfer process for a website before. A defect in that programming wouldn’t send money, say, to another bank instead of my exterminator. To interact with another bank involves a good dozen interactions, most of which involve control access and permissions gates. That sort of thing just doesn’t happen by accident. A building doesn’t explode and crumble to form another building just as complex. It turns to dust.
Websites can’t reach into most machine resources. I can’t program a website that will change the background image on your desktop. But what I could (if I knew how) write a Trojan horse program that changes your background photo into a tiled MacGyver collage. But that is acting outside the http system via the Trojan, into the user’s local machine system.