Monday 11 May 2020

Warning from the future: It's not too late to prevent the robot apocalypse

Dear Singaporeans of 2020,

I’m sending you this urgent message from the future to warn you.

Listen to me if you want to live.

In my timeline, robots have taken over. They are sovereign. A robot is not a person. It’s “I, robot”, not “we, the people”.

That’s why robots don’t need to wear a mask when they go to the market.

Being machines, they are not afraid of any virus. They have Norton Antivirus pre-installed whether you want it or not.

It’s the robot apocalypse now for us.

I guess I should be grateful they haven’t turned us into batteries. Yet.

By the way, here in the future, cinemas have reopened and we have seen The Matrix 4. It’s still not as good as the original movie. Keanu Reeves hasn’t aged a day though.

But even John Wick couldn’t save us from the robot apocalypse.

We didn’t see it coming. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were expecting a zombie apocalypse.

So we worried about the wrong apocalypse.

We should have paid less attention to The Walking Dead and more to The Terminator sequels, even the lousy ones after Judgment Day.

We became over-reliant on robots because of the coronavirus.

And I’m not just talking about the Black Mirror robot dog unleashed in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park to “assist safe distancing efforts”.

A less canine-like robot was earlier deployed in Bedok Reservoir to tell humans not to loiter in the park.

A hound of the Boston Dynamics-villes was also used at the Changi Exhibition Centre community isolation facility to deliver essential items such as medicine to patients.

As the pandemic dragged on, more robots appeared.

Before we knew it, the machines were taking over the world.

But that’s just in my timeline.

The good news is that it’s still not too late for you to change your timeline and stop the robot apocalypse from happening.

Here is what you must do.

Stay home. Go out only when necessary.

If you do go out, wear a mask and practise safe distancing without requiring a robot dog to remind you.

Don’t verbally abuse National Environmental Agency enforcement officers.

And if you go to court for verbally abusing them, don’t wear your mask over your eyes because you are not VR Man.

Just because you can’t see us doesn’t mean we can’t see you.

Is it any wonder the robots won?

You’re in the endgame now.

Basically, to prevent the robot apocalypse, just don’t do anything that could get you featured on the SG Covidiots Facebook page and possibly remanded at the Institute of Mental Health.

If everyone follows these instructions, the sooner you can say “Hasta la vista, baby” to the coronavirus and the sooner the robots can go back to vacuuming our floors.

Otherwise, you will end up in the same apocalyptic future I’m living in now, where I have to vacuum my own damn floor.

The horror! The horror!

- Published in The New Paper, 11 May 2020