Wouldn’t it be cool if we joined forces with the machines for once? Speck (and its family of protective cases) is in full support of the bond between man and machine — we rely on each other — but what if that notion made its way from your gadgets to your favorite movies? There’s a pervasive view in science fiction that when technology overreaches its limits, humans have an edict to fight it. Yet isn't it possible that human society would be improved if we welcomed our robot overlords with open arms?
One of the earliest ideas in genre fiction is of a man-built menace that threatens its makers with an unpredictable, evolving nature. From Mary Shelley’s murderous Frankenstein to the genocidal Cylons of Battlestar Galactica, we see these automatons as dangerous, and must struggle to contain them.
From Fred Saberhagen and Isaac Asimov to Iain Banks and Robert Heinlein and back again, authors have warned of the robot’s rise. The word “robot” comes from a 1920s play in Czech by Karl Capek, R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), that imagined a fleet of synthetic men who are built to be servile but prove ultimately destructive. The concept is an old one, meant to remind us that we are only human, and not to overreach our own limitations.
Maybe we’ve taken the wrong approach from the start. Haven’t you ever watched our wars against the robots and thought: what if we stopped fighting, joined up, and uncovered common ground? They’re bound to be wiser than our fleshly politicians, and much less corruptible than Congress. What they lack in emotion they make up for in fabulously advanced technological capabilities and farsight. What if the robot way is the right way?
This would considerably shift the tone of some of our favorite movies. If we ended up allies with the ascendant machines instead of enemies, imagine the human-robot utopias that might be built. Just think of the destruction we could avoid, the cities we could be saved, the mass slaughters that could be called off. Or would our heroes, aided by mechanical supermen, go power-mad? What would Transformers’ Sam Witwicky do with a Decepticon pal?
Can you envision the twist to Star Trek: First Contact if Data were free to dally with the Borg Queen? The fight at the center of The Matrix would be breezy if Neo adopted Agent Smith’s cause and chose to help the Agents eliminate a few rebellious glitches. Sarah Conner taking sides with the Terminator might seem like madness, but later installments prove the idea essential for humanity’s survival. Many films would upend our expectations if they favored human-robot cooperation over animosity.
Which other plots would benefit if we plugged in to the machine's side of things? Jump in the comments, and share your ideas below, and head here to show your smartphones, tablets, and laptops some love with Speck's line of unique and protective cases.