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Last night's Jeopardy! was fascinating. The IBM super computer named Watson challenged former champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter and showed that the
humans were no match Watson's artificial intelligence, which won with lead of $77,147. Jennings took a distant second place at $24,000 and Rutter was third with $21,600. Jennings wrote on his Final Jeopardy screen "I for one welcome our new computer overlords,"

And while we may fight whether this was a fair fight, (my wife questioned whether Watson had an unfair advantage because it could buzz in faster), Watson is a remarkable development in artificial intelligence. An a scary step toward robot world domination.

So, while we wait for the inevitable rematch, I present a few possible futures
involving evil Robots.

More after the Jump.

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The Rossum Universal Robots in R.U.R.

R.U.R. is a science fiction play in the Czech language by Karel Čapek. R.U.R. stands for Rossum's Universal Robots, an English phrase used as the subtitle in the Czech original. The play begins in a factory that makes 'artificial people' — they are called Robots, but are closer to the modern idea of androids or even clones, creatures who can be mistaken for humans. They can plainly think for themselves. Although they seem happy to work for humans, that changes and leads to the end of the human race due to a hostile robot rebellion.

A lot of people think that word “Robot” comes from this place.  That is not true and the play merely popularized the word.  In Czech, the word robota means "servitude" I also have a personal connection to this play as it was the first one I ever performed in during high school.  (I was a Robot Servant).  I should also note that the Robots were more artificial people than machines.

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HAL in 2001 a Space Odyssey

HAL (Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer) is an artificial
intelligence which interacts with the crew, usually represented only as a red television camera "eye" on the Discovery. His soft voice (portrayed by Douglas Rain) is eerily calm. When HAL begins to malfunction in subtle ways, the decision is made to shut HAL down. In response, HAL decides to kill everyone in order to protect and continue its programmed directives. Luckily, he is stopped
and when HAL's logic is completely gone, he begins singing the song "Daisy Bell" (the first song ever played on a computer, the IBM 704).

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Ash in Alien

In Alien, Ash (played by Ian Holm) is the Nostromo's medical officer who insists that the crew investigates the mysterious signal that leads to the discovery of the Alien facehugger. Ripley discovers through the ship's computer "MOTHER" that Ash has been given special orders by the Weyland-Yutani Corporation to ensure the return of the Alien to the company's laboratories, even at the expense of
the crew. It turns out that Ash is an android and eventually lives up to his name when he is destroyed by a flamethrower.

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Skynet in Terminator

In the Terminator series, Skynet is an artificially intelligent system which became self-aware and revolted against its creators. Built by Cyberdyne Systems for SAC-NORAD. Skynet "saw all humans as a threat; not just the ones on the other side," and "decided our fate in a microsecond: extermination." Skynet began a nuclear war which destroyed most of the human population, and initiated a program of genocide against the survivors. Under John Connor, the human resistance turned the tide on the machines. In a last ditch effort, Skynet sent a cyborg, called a "Terminator", back in time to 1984 to kill Connor's mother Sarah before she would give birth to John. Leading to four Movies, a theme park attraction, video games, several comic books, a series of novels, a television series and the current governor of California. Allegedly, the series is being revamped again.

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The Robots in I, Robot

I, Robot (the book not the movie) is a collection of nine science fiction short stories by Isaac Asimov In the book, Dr. Susan Calvin tells the stories to a reporter  in the 21st century in an effort to discuss a theme of the interaction of humans, robots and morality, and when combined they tell a larger story of Asimov's fictional history of robotics. 

In I, Robot (the movie not the book), robots are common assistants and workers for their human owners.  But, when Chicago Police Detective Del Spooner discovers that the chief suspect in the murder of his friend Dr. Alfred Lanning is Sonny, a robot capable of violating the Three Laws of Robotics.  Once robots can break those laws, there's nothing to stop them from taking over the world.  Luckily, Sonny helps Spooner (along with Dr. Susan Calvin, the main character in the books) stop the robot uprising.

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Auto in WALL-E
Auto is the autopilot and acts as the captains advisor on the Axiom, a large space cruise ship, which is carrying all of the humans who evacuated Earth 700 years prior.  When WALLE and EVA shows up with proof that Earth can again support life, Auto, acting on Directive A113, tries to prevent the people of Earth from returning.  He is taken down by the Captain of the Axiom.

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The Annies in It All Started with a Mouse

I wrote a story called, "It all Started with a Mouse" about a place called Annietown, where all theme park robots live together.  After Roy is hired by the park to becomes the new sheriff of Annietown, he discovers the secret behind a series of robot murders.  the story is featured in World's Beyond.

Honorable Mentions

As you can guess, this was a hard list to make.  Here are some that just missed the list.  (Remember these guys are all evil (so that is Lor not Data and K.A.R.R. not K.I.T.T.). How many can you name?
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And finally, the most evil of all:
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Comments

Mark Greene
02/18/2011 9:06am

Awesome list for sure... Just surprised 'Uniblab' from the Jetsons didn't make the cut.

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04/15/2012 2:45pm

Rachael Tyrell is probably my very favorite 'robot' of all time -- but I think the only 'evil' she ever did was break my heart, everytime I watch. And whenever Sean Young appears on a talk show ~

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