They don’t come for us, enslave us or kill us. My warning proved spurious. But the robot—or should I say robots—put the human race in an awkward position.
My warning predicted the obvious part, that a robot with a built-in 3D printer would reproduce. But they didn’t overrun us or take over the world. Instead, they fled from us. They live in parts of the planet that would be uncomfortable for people and that have no valuable resources. Remote arctic regions and steep mountain sides and even parts of oceans.
They don’t bother us, at least not directly. I confess I didn’t see this coming.
Here’s how they operate. They build giant 3D printers at each of their colonies, powered by some mysterious advanced solar power plants. They seem to be able to use anything as raw material. Strangely for robots, they’ve become social creatures. They greet each other with enthusiasm, play games, have parties. They don’t seem to have any politics or subgroups. Individually, the robots have personalities, but overall they behave like one big happy family. They seem to argue, at times, but then forgive and forget.
Our human leaders are proposing war, citing a potential threat and that they have taken over parts of our planet. But most people have no stomach for it. After all, day to day nobody even sees them.
But I was right about one thing: the robots caused trouble, big trouble. Only it wasn’t the trouble that I, or anyone, expected.
Human beings are still killing each other with gusto. They continue to break into warring tribes even though even the appearance of individual “races” has disappeared. (The idea of “races” was an ancient myth that claimed people of different skin shades formed distinct groups.) We still do battle with each other over ancient superstitions.
Our species is suffering from comparison with the robot populations, even as they stay out of sight in remote regions. We are angry, some of us are depressed. Virtually all humans are affected by the robot civilization—because it is clearly superior to our own.