Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
This comic refers to the Terminator series, in which a super-intelligent machine from the future time travels back in time to kill Sarah Connor.
However, we currently have "robots" (actually vehicles controlled remotely by people) that are able to attack specific locations and targets. Originally, UAV were only used for surveillance and reconnaissance. But, now more than ever, they are used for attacks. One thing that keeps us short of a Terminator scenario is that most of the unmanned aerial vehicles are either pre-programmed or flown remotely by members of the military, and are not left to their own devices.
The last panel shows a Predator drone, heavily used for offensive operations by the USAF and the CIA in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The title text emphasizes this by pointing out that we have entire fleets of these drones, and notes that at some point, we entered the future.
Similar buildup and Terminator reference are to be found in 1177: Time Robot.
- [Cueball with a shotgun approaches a woman.]
- Cueball: Sarah! Come with me if you want to live! A robot assassin has been sent here to kill you!
- [Sarah holds her hands over her mouth.]
- Cueball: I'm here to save you. I may not be as strong or fast as a machine, but I'll fight to keep you-
- [There's a huge orange and yellow explosion. The two are disintegrated.]
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- [A flying robot assassin is above the bomb site.]
MOST? You mean some aren't?
Our current level of artifical intelligence research is not really far and I doubt anyone would be trying to advance it inside armed machines. -- Hkmaly (talk) 09:03, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
- Do you just not notice the high volume of news literature on the current state of drones? The Atlantic wrote a long feature about it recently. --Quicksilver (talk) 18:58, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
The current level of our artificial intelligence research is high enough for Google to be testing driverless cars on the streets of the Bay Area. Given that, I'm sure the military is at least testing autonomous drones. Dawfedora (talk) 16:38, 11 July 2013 (UTC)
- As far as I knew, we already have autonomous drones, but there's a law that requires that a human must pull the trigger. 184.108.40.206 23:37, 6 January 2014 (UTC)
- Autonomy is still pre-programmed, just like driverless cars. The Terminator was also just a pre-programmed drone, at least until it started to develop feelings. There are also automated strikes. The only thing that is required is human verification of intel (which is not that great). flewk (talk) 13:19, 8 January 2016 (UTC)
At every moment of life we leave the present to enter the future...--220.127.116.11 18:38, 21 March 2014 (UTC)
And the joke is on everyone when the "drone" turns out to be Soundwave. -Pennpenn 18.104.22.168 06:26, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
I think Randall hit too closely to home on this one. Uncomfortably close. I will never understand humanity's morbid fetishization of war, destruction, and death. International Space Station (talk) 18:22, 22 April 2016 (UTC)