Satire: The day the robots take over


Remotec Andros Robot / Patrick Evenson / U.S. Department of Defense / CC0 1.0

Air Force personnel operates a military robot similar to those possessed by the San Francisco Police Department. Imagine this robot, fully equipped with explosives, rolling through Union Square in the event of an emergency. How could residents possibly feel unsafe in this scenario?

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors approved a plan to employ lethal robots in an 8-3 vote on Tuesday, Nov. 29 – a tremendous win for anyone who favors police measures that are both tough on crime and capable of blowing up suspects.

The debate was reportedly heated, so we must applaud those eight brave board members for siding with common sense in the face of controversy.

In the past, robots would simply vacuum, manufacture goods, or fly around taking pictures; their explosive properties were reserved for fiction. But now, thanks to the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD), the plot of every robot sci-fi movie from the ’80s is finally becoming a reality.

It is unclear why it took so long for this fantasy to be fulfilled because it has perfectly legitimate historical support.

For example, the very sensible SFPD pointed to the unimaginably tragic 2017 case of an active shooter in a Las Vegas hotel as an instance in which a bomb-detonating robot would have come in handy, according to the New York Times.

Everyone knows that the best way to stop an active shooter is with explosives. Indeed, bombs are widely celebrated for their striking abilities to prevent people from being hurt and peacefully resolve conflict.

San Francisco citizens can rest assured that their police force is acting in their best interest, valuing security above all else. Protected by a fleet of armed robocops ready to strike, residents can finally feel safe in the streets of the city.

Some might ask: “Aren’t killer robots kind of scary?” To which I reply: “Not at all. They’re just like cops, but made of steel and equipped with small bombs!”

The SFPD’s lethal robots are, above all else, a safety measure – perhaps the first one in history to have “lethal” in its title, but a safety measure nonetheless. They are designed to eliminate the people causing the danger. Of course, once these killer humans are out of the picture, we’ll have a bunch of armed robots to deal with, but that’s an issue for another sci-fi movie-turned-reality.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will put the policy to a second vote on Tuesday, Dec. 6, to decide whether or not it will go to the mayor for approval. Hopefully, board members will bring the same no-nonsense energy to this next meeting that they did to the last.

In the meantime, we can stare at our Roombas and envision them holding bombs to revel in anticipation of the day the robots take over.