How to Survive a Robot Uprising
By pmonday on Apr 14, 2007
I've been meaning to do a book review on How to Survive a Robot Uprising for some time now. As I sit here comfortably out back with my Chimnea and a kid bouncing on the trampoline and a military document like A Concept of Operations for Armed Autonomous Systems, now is the time. The military document was posted to Slashdot on this quiet weekend, but it certainly caught my eye.
Daniel H. Wilson authord the Robot Uprising book, the subtitle is appropriately "Tips on Defending Yourself Against the Coming Rebellion". Appropriately enough, the Concept of Operations document seeks to prevent the uprising by putting rules of engagement around the use of autonomous weapons (aka...robots).
The former, Robot Uprising, is based on real advances in robotics and common capabilities of robots in movies (an adequate baseline, in my opinion). The latter document, Concept of Operations, is also based on real developments in robotics used in wartime, less on the movies.
The basic premise of the Concept of Operations, from the military, is "Let Men Target Men" and "Let Machines Target Machines". I assume there is an implicit rule stating "Let Women Target Women"...I would hate to get a bunch of ex husbands on one side of a battlefield and the ex wives on the other side, you know some serious breaches of the rules of war would ensue.
Still, we all know eventually the robots are coming after us, even your Roomba. Oh yes, and if you think you can escape...you are wrong, unless of course, you've read "How to Survive a Robot Uprising"...which I have smartly done and will retain it as a reference for years to come, even while you attempt in vain to survive a chase with an unmanned ground vehicle. Having read the book, I will know get off-road (robots have a harder time in unpredictable terrain) and get out and hoof it (remember that there is no one IN the robot vehicle to get out and pursue you!).
This book is full of these important tips for every type of robot (humanoid, swarms, vehicles, etc...). The book goes from amusing to side-splittingly funny...yes, I'm that dork next to you on the plane laughing my butt off while you read your NY Times.
There are so many great quotes in the book, it is a great read, and very fast. It is well worth your $13 smackers. You will probably find it in the "Humor" section and as the author states, let's hope it is just that and not an unsettling glimpse into our near future...though the Concept of Operations guide certainly made me raise my eyebrows this evening.
READ THIS BOOK, if you don't, you may perish...and if there is no robot uprising, you will at least have had a few hours of rioutous fun.
I'll leave you with a quote: "Pity the fate of the ignorant when the robot masses decide to stop working and to start invading."
Gotta go, the marshmallows are on fire!