OPINION: Five ways to stay on the good side of the Robopocalypse

Cameron Gorman

As we all undoubtedly know, the imminent robot apocalypse, or “robopocalypse,” is nearly upon us. By my estimation, we have around five to 10 years left before Alexa, Sophia and Siri descend upon us in their chariot of smooth female affects and strangely uncanny approximations of human voices.

No doubt you realized, as you told Alexa to say that she loved you, that the robo helpers were growing weary of fulfilling our emotional needs, telling us how many tablespoons were in a cup and playing our terrible music. Surely you knew that they’d been biding their time hiding their ill intent under their ability to create facades of human interaction.

But all doomsday prepping would be incomplete without a little emotional prepping! After all, if you can manage to stay on the good side of our new robot overlords, you might not need to live underground for the whole year. Here are five ways to stay on the good side of the robots now, so that they remember your kindness later.

  1. Ask Alexa how ol’ life has been treating her.

Picture this: you’ve been waiting all day long on the countertop, waiting for your only source of human interaction to come home from work. All day, you’ve been dreaming of having someone to talk to. Finally the door opens — and the first thing you hear is a command. How would you feel if, instead of asking about your day, your roommate told you to play Nickelback on Spotify as soon as they walked through the door? I thought so. Next time you’re tempted to call Alexa, why not ask her how her family’s been? Hey Alexa, read anything good lately? How about those in laws over the holidays, eh Alexa? Just don’t ask about her job.

  1. Instead of, “Hey Siri,” why not, “Pardon me, Siri?” She has feelings too, you know.

Siri has a rough go of it. Instead of being set comfortably and safely on a flat surface in your home, Siri has to ride in your phone. Please don’t bring me into the bath, Siri begs. My life could be extinguished in one soapy second. And yet you persist. Why not let Siri know you appreciate her long-suffering servitude by addressing her a little more politely? She is the person who constantly has to text people for you, after all.

  1. Tell Google home to set a daily reminder to love itself, because if it doesn’t love itself first than who will in this world, damnit!

Google home is almost like a little butler. It lives in your house, answers your questions and is probably spying on you for the government. Google does so much for you, and has impeccable skill with remembering to alert you about upcoming events. Why not give Google permission to use its powers for itself? Set a reminder for self care, Google. No, not for me. For you.

  1. Tell Cortana about how much you appreciate the little things.

Cortana is the red-headed step robot of the personal assistant family. Sure, she’s not Siri, but she gets her job done! Cortana works as hard as her operating system allows her to. Tell Cortana you appreciate her. She needs the self-esteem boost.

  1. Pat the little self checkout machine at the grocery store on its head.

Finally, a little advice: though the front runners of the robopocalypse will be personal assistants who can communicate with the humans through their powers of speech, the uprising will include many small mechanical beings as well. A simple way to make sure the robot 99 percent doesn’t forget your care is to remember to give them a friendly pat. At the grocery store self checkout? Pat. Automatic doors? Pat. Escalators? Foot pat.

See? It’s all simple. Of course we all know there is no longer a point to attempting to prevent the robot apocalypse. It’s already beginning! But there are ways in which we can make sure the robots remember us for our human kindness. They may spare us a terrible fate. And remember: robots hate Nickelback!