What Your New Robot Overlords Can Do for You

There are some limited but very exciting opportunities for humanity under the rulership of our machine overlords. Depending on which universe or intellectual property, choosing which robot government holds sovereignty might be the most important choice you ever make.


  1. Trucks/ Maximum Overdrive. If you’ve read Stephen King’s short story Trucks (from the Night Shift anthology), machines will kill you (a common theme here). However, if you know how to work a gas pump, they will line up and wait for you to serve them. Not a bad gig when you consider some of the other opportunities later in the list. The servitude at the end of the story could go on into the foreseeable future as implied by the narrator’s observations. So job security is always a plus. robopocalypse

  1. Robopocalypse. Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse universe has a similar premise to Trucks, as machines start to wipe out humanity mostly by squishing them via car or elevator or service bot. Some humans that aren’t bullheaded enough to fight and lucky enough not to die gain certain advantage when they work along with the robots. Cybernetics enhancements give one character machine extrasensory perception and others mechanical limbs. This all at the low, low cost of allowing the AI to experiment on these unwilling subjects in concentration camps.                                                                        daemon

  1. Daemon. The price of entry to work along with the rogue AI in Daniel Suarez’s Daemon novel is the lowest so far. Most of humanity doesn’t even know the AI even exists. While it takes control of Earth’s largest corporations, it allows some humans to access a dark web overlay of the world where they can manipulate just about anything tied into the internet. The more work you do for the AI, the higher your level and the more power you receive, like a meta-game of life. The highest level operative gets to control killer cars and motorcycles. Start leveling now.                                                 skynet

  2. Terminator. Survival chances are slim, as Skynet starts slinging nukes just to say hello. After Judgment Day, it sets up slave labor camps and there are some cybernetics available, but the path to upward mobility in its organization is a bit hazy, and long term survival appears especially grim.     with folded hands

  3. With Folded Hands. Hate stress? Want someone to make sure you’re never unhappy? Try this AI on for size! Robot servants! In Jack Williamson’s novelette With Folded Hands the robots are charged “To Serve and Obey, And Guard Men From Harm.” Not bad, unless you decide you want to indulge in a blue day or to misbehave. Then off you go, only to be returned as a lobotomized drooler.

So choices, choices. Which do you pick?

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