On December 1 Amazon announced their intention to use motorized, airborne drones to deliver packages directly to your home as early as 2015.
This is how humanity ends: not with a bang, but with the click of a button, ordering cereal on the Internet.
According to the shipping giant the robots are prepped and ready to go pending FAA regulations. Soon, they'll be able to fill the sky with packages under five pounds in weight, delivered right to your door in 30 minutes or less. But to avid viewers of science fiction it's clear there's no way this can go other than horribly wrong. Here's eight scenarios based on movies and TV that indicate how this
will definitely might end, before humanity proceeds to checkout:
In the world of "The Matrix," the machines have taken over, lulling humanity into a false sense of security. Day after day, we perform the same meaningless tasks while unknowingly powering a robot army. Sound familiar? Think about how easy it is to just order from Amazon, directly from your desk at work or home, rather than venturing out to a store. Think about how we return to the site over and over to order the same products. And think about this the next time you experience déjà vu. Because every time you see something repeating itself? That's just Amazon losing your order.
How To Prepare: You can't. The Amazon already has you.
In "The Terminator" films, an all-encompassing computer system called SkyNet connects every machine on Earth, sending its robotic drones out to kill all of humanity. In our world, an all-encompassing computer system called Amazon connects every machine on Earth, and is preparing to send its robotic drones out to "deliver packages" to humanity. Not convinced of the comparison? The corporation that creates SkyNet is called Cyberdyne. Currently Amazon is celebrating an event called Cyber Monday. Coincidence? We think not.
How To Prepare: If a weird motorcycle cop shows you a picture and asks, "Have you seen this Bezos?" drive away as quickly as you can.
In the world of "Battlestar Galactica" it was decades before robots built to serve their human masters rebelled, eventually destroying every human colony in the galaxy and reducing our number to the tens of thousands. So relax! Amazon's new drones probably won't become sentient until you're relaxing in your old age. Then they'll drop nuclear bombs on your head, instead of hastily delivered Robert Ludlum paperbacks. All this has happened before. All this will happen again.
How To Prepare: Make sure you're on the one ship that's still hard-wired. Also make sure you're not secretly a robot yourself.
The "Transformers" movies feature giant robots fighting in the streets and killing large swathes of humanity, and the main character is named Optimus Prime. Amazon's new service? Amazon Prime Air. "Seems like customers who bought this item also bought an extra helping of hard metallic death."
How To Prepare: Be Shia LaBeouf. Or possibly his parents. Either way, you should be fine.
2001: A Space Odyssey
There's an alternate scenario to the robo-pocalypse, and that's a subtle, more insidious one. In "2001," the robotic intelligence HAL 9000 tries to kill the astronauts he's supposed to protect, due to a fatal programming error. HAL is a highly complicated piece of software meant to help astronauts make their way through outer space, and it goes haywire. No way could a similar thing happen with a machine based on other machines that tend to fly into war zones and kill people, right? Of course not. You're perfectly safe, Dave.
How To Prepare: Don't go into space, but we already knew that one from watching "Gravity."
The futuristic action thriller "I, Robot" is a virtual gold box of info on what could go wrong with the Amazon drone invasion. Years into the future, society has become dependent on robots for everything. Unfortunately, artificial intelligence has evolved and the robots decide they must destroy a large portion of humanity in order to save it. Amazon is also increasingly part of our lives, constantly striving to help us make our lives better. With a postal service stretched to the breaking point, would it be that far a leap for the Amazon Air Primes to decide we might be better off with some of the human population, shall we say, reduced?
How To Prepare: First law of robotics? Get ready to kick some butt Will Smith style.
Mainstays of the "Alien" and "Prometheus" movies are untrustworthy cyborgs. Chances are, things won't come to that with Amazon unless the drones assume human form. But if you see a postal worker who leaks white, viscous fluid, run.
How To Prepare: Play the knife/hand game with everyone. If they're really good, they're a robot. Run.
Okay, we're calling this now: we don't know much about the sequel to "Marvel's The Avengers," but we do know the villain is Ultron, a power hungry robot bent on world domination played by James Spader. The movie is being released in 2015. Amazon's new drone service will be ready in, you guessed it, 2015. At the very least we'll have some sort of winky cross-promotion. At the very worst? It's not a movie at all, and Ultron is secretly behind Amazon Air Prime. Funny, James Spader movies have been selling particularly well on the site lately. Hmm...
How To Prepare: Watch a lot of "Boston Legal." We're sure there's clues somewhere.