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Robot box apocalypse

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This is a relatively benevolent apocalypse scenario (which some might not think as so bad). Basically it's a spin on the usual robot apocalypse but rather than the robots wanting to murder all mankind they instead put every person from the moment of their birth inside a closed box and hook them on a VR set. Every person in those boxes are living in a perfect and ideal environment with connection with other people is either non existant or filtered to be stricktly positive. The robots meanwhile make sure that everything is perfect and maintain population artifically. After all, they love humanity and thus want every single person to be as happy as he/she can be.


Does this idea has a name? And are there works that use this idea? The only things I can think of are The Matrix (which, at least originally, didn't have the machines capture humans for their safety but rather as battery/neural computers) that didn't follow on the idea too much but rather the philosophical "are we in a dream" scenario and the people inside had just as shitty time in the usual world. And the other one is the anime "The Girl Who Leapt Through Space" which didn't elaborate on it too much.


I think this idea is the most probable way a robot apocalypse can happen, as even if they gain sentience they don't have pain receptors (since that will be idiotic) and it's extremely likely the number of machines that will function to support mankind will be massively larger than robots who will want for military purposes. Not to mention that today people are already living more and more inside "boxes" where they mostly expect positive reinforcement.


Your thoughts?

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But that's not as fun as having a challenge that involves the destruction of the vast majority of the human race! ;)


Honestly, I doubt we'll ever see anything resembling true sentience in a computer program in our lifetimes.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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I've seen Sci-Fi concepts use it. While it is not strictly automated as far as I remember, the Pendragon Series 4th Book "The Reality Bug" has a setting the revolves around the vast majority of people on the world being constantly hooked up into VR machines.


Personally, I think our society is more likely to end up like Ghost in The Shell or Bladerunner before Matrix. Wherein we have elements of really advanced technology, but it doesn't really dominate our world on its own, humanity still goes on as it always has, new problems just present themselves. Hell, even the game Observer may be a more potentially accurate portrayal that takes many of these concepts into account.


Sure, some people will be tempted towards the escape to another reality, but I don't see a vast majority of people buying into it, not unless our world becomes literally complete shit.


Even in that scenario, such tech would still be expensive as hell. The current VR experiences that allow for near total physical integration through 4 different pieces of tech still cost a ton and are more of a novelty item right now. I'd foresee more people buying cheaply made suicide kits a la Children of Men before getting what will likely be expensive VR tech.


And robots gaining sentience? I doubt it. Even if they do, we'd still have the upper hand. We'd need to create machine with their own self-sustaining power supply, self-maintenance, and potentially replication, to even begin to be worried. We'd also have to program all of these behaviour into them, so it'd be any programmer's fault for this shit happening, moreso than any machine themselves.

Long is the way; and hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light-Paradise Lost

By the power of truth, while I live, I have conquered the universe-Faust

The only absolute is that there are no absolutes, except that one

Vae Victus-Brennus

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I don't think sentience is really needed in this case. As programs are made to maximize/minimize a function or do a specific task. You just need a mass of robots coming to the "answer" the imprisoning people is the best way to minimize their suffering. Of course it still depends on robots getting into a situation where they can bully humans to their goals but at least it makes sense for them to want humans to be happy.

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