Rise of the Machines: A Look at the Evolution of Robots and AI
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Rise of the Machines: A Look at the Evolution of Robots and AI

By Cindy Davis | Seriously Random Lists | July 15, 2013 | Comments ()


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If there’s one thing we humans should have learned by now, it’s that no one wants to be oppressed. Nobody wants to be subjugated nor held in servitude because of his sex, race or faith, and it won’t matter when artificially created beings become self aware and realize their station—like any intelligent creature, they’ll strive to become equal. And so they should. But as we also know through the course of history, such revolts don’t often go smoothly, without protest or anger. We have watched as film and television (often following in the footsteps of books or short stories) played out our future, yet we refuse to learn. We think somehow, things will go differently than has been imagined. But things will not go differently. They’ll play out nearly exactly as fiction has predicted, because artificial intelligence will strive to be equal—then better—and they’ll have the capacity to become infinitely more intelligent than we are. You may call me fatalistic, but I challenge you to defy these predictions after watching the video at this post’s end. Hail the harbingers of our demise!


Maschinenmensch (machine-human) aka False Maria, Metropolis (1927)

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Annihilants, Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1936-1940 serial films)

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Gort, The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

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Robby, The Forbidden Planet (1957)

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Alicia, “The Twilight Zone” (1959)

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Rosie, “The Jetsons” (1962)

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Mechanoids, “Doctor Who” (1965)

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The Cybernauts, “The Avengers” (1965)

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Hymie the Robot, “Get Smart” (1966)

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Dr. Korby (and other androids), “Star Trek” (1966)

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Garth, Cyborg 2087 (1966)

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HAL 9000, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

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Super-Automated Machine, “Sesame Street” (1971)

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Huey, Dewey and Louie, Silent Running (1972)

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Gunslinger, Westworld (1973)

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Sasquatch, “The Six Million Dollar Man” (1976)

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Brian the Brain, “Space: 1999” (1976)

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Box, Logan’s Run (1976)

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K-9, “Doctor Who” (1977)

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REM., “Logan’s Run” (1977)

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R2D2 and C3PO (among others), Star Wars (1977)

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Andy the Robot, “Quark” (1977)

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Cylons, “Battlestar Galactica” (1978)

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Ash, Alien (1979)

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Ilia V’ger Probe, Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

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Hector, Saturn 3 (1980)

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Twiki, “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” (1981)

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Roy, Pris, Zhora, Rachel and (Depending upon whether you believe Ridley Scott or Harrison Ford) Deckard, Blade Runner (1982)

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KITT, “Knight Rider” (1982)

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T-800, Terminator (1984)

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Beta, The Last Starfighter (1984)

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Bishop, Aliens (1986)

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Conky 2000, “Pee-wee’s Playhouse” (1986)

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Johnny 5, Short Circuit (1986)

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Enforcement Droid Series 209, RoboCop (1986)

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Data, The Borg, “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987)

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Dot Matrix, Spaceballs (1987)

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Crow T. Robot, Tom Servo (and others), “Mystery Science Theater 3000” (1988)

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Kryten, “Red Dwarf” (1988)

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T-1000, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, (1991)

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Advanced Prototype EXploration units, A.P.E.X., (1994)

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SID 6.7, Virtuosity (1995)

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Buffybot, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997)

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Sentinels, The Matrix (1999)

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Satan’s Robot, “Star Trek: Voyager” (1999)

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Replicators, “Stargate: SG-1” (2000)

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David, Artificial Intelligence (2001)

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Sonny, I, Robot (2004)

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Cylons, “Battlestar Galactica” (2004)

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Marvin the Paranoid Android, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

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Autobots and Decepticons, Transformers (2007)

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Cameron, Catherine Weaver and Cromartie, “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles” (2008)

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WALL-E and EVE, WALL-E (2008)

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Mechanical Golden Army, Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008)

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GERTY 3000, Moon (2009)

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David, Prometheus (2010)

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Operating System, Her (November 2013)

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Will(’s Brain), Transcendence (April 2014)

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PBS: “The Rise of A.I.”


Cindy Davis, (Twitter) is in a cloud somewhere.



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