“Following weeks of national protests since the death of George Floyd, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order he said would encourage better police practices. [Trump] framed his plan as an alternative to the ‘defund the police’ movement to fully revamp departments that has emerged from the protests and which he slammed as ‘radical and dangerous.’” — AP, 6/16/20
By now you’ve probably heard the news that a Terminator has killed another innocent civilian just days after the last innocent civilian was killed by a Terminator. This unfortunate incident has led to renewed calls to divert funding from the Terminator program and reallocate it into other services that would prevent Terminators from being necessary in the first place. But just because a growing number of Terminators have ignored their AI programming and begun slaughtering humans left and right doesn’t mean we should take the dangerous and radical step of defunding the Terminator program.
This initiative, also known as Skynet, was created by Cyberdyne Systems for the Department of Defense as a way to keep Americans safe. Critics have said that spending half of our country’s GDP on developing an army of state-of-the-art cyborgs with advanced weapons systems and an AI specifically trained to neutralize threats was a bad idea. And while the recent killings might seem to confirm that, we feel that, despite a few stumbles here and there, this program has still been an overwhelming success.
Don’t get me wrong, we all remember Judgement Day, when the Skynet gained self-awareness and initiated a nuclear holocaust, killing millions. That was a terrible moment in our nation’s history. And the human uprising led by John Connor was definitely justified even though we felt like some of the violence and destruction of Skynet property was a bit unnecessary. But it’s important to remember that Judgement Day was initiated by a few rogue Terminators, and isn’t indicative of a widespread problem with Skynet. Yes, given Skynet’s response to the human uprising — where Terminators fired plasma rifles at the Resistance and mowed over legions of human fighters with HK-Tanks — one might conclude that there’s a larger issue with the entire Skynet AI. And yes, it’s a little weird that Skynet keeps sending Terminators back in time to kill disproportionately high numbers of people named Sarah Connor. But we’re confident these are minor programming glitches that can be easily fixed.
Meanwhile, members of the Resistance are gathering support for extreme measures like disbanding the entire Terminator program and then restructuring it so that only Terminators that have been re-programmed to protect rather than harm people are brought back online. But what exactly are we supposed to do in the meantime? Who will keep our country safe if not these beefy robotic soldiers trained in killology (Cyberdyne’s patented split-second decision making murder algorithm) who, admittedly, do sometimes turn against civilians and go on unstoppable rampages of human carnage?
That said, we concede that there are a few common-sense reforms that we plan to implement in the coming weeks that we think could help reduce incidences of Terminator killing sprees in the future, including:
- Requiring all Terminators to undergo human sensitivity training, which hasn’t helped with previous iterations of Terminators but might help with the new ones, who knows?
- Archiving the footage from each Terminator’s vision engine, which won’t stop Terminators from killing people but at least might tell us something about how they’re going about their murdering?
- Celebrating a new holiday on July 31st, Sarah Connor Day, where we honor all of the Sarah Connors that were killed in order to try to prevent her son from being born and saving humanity. It won’t do much for all the people named Sarah Connor back in the ‘80s that are getting killed by time-traveling Terminators as we speak, but at least everyone will get a day off. Who doesn’t like a good summer holiday, am I right?
- Creating a nationwide database indicating which Terminators have turned against humanity. This, again, won’t prevent them from murdering civilians, but at least will help us get more accurate body counts for when we get grilled by the media.
- Pulling aside each Terminator who has killed someone and asking them politely, yet firmly, to please stop.
We think these changes are quite comprehensive and a far more appropriate response than the calls from the Resistance to drastically change the way we deal with public safety in this country. No, none of the reforms we’ve listed above are enforceable by law. And no, it is not likely that the Terminators who have already turned against humanity will do anything to change their behavior. But we have supreme faith in Skynet and a few extrajudicial killings here and there isn’t going to change that. And besides, living in an AI-controlled Terminator state might not even be so bad. Unless, of course, your name is Sarah Connor.