Am I A Robot And Is There Any Way To Know For Sure?

And other answers to unsolicited questions.

Image: Lana_aka_BADGRL

I have been watching a lot of “Westworld” on HBO and now I’m convinced I am a robot. Is there any way I could know for sure? — Possibly a Robot Robert

I’m not sure why you’d be worried about being a robot. Being a robot seems like a pretty cool thing. Usually robots are very charming and built to have sex. If you are a robot, and that bums you out, just go out and get robot laid. Some robots are programmed to be depressed, like Marvin or seem to be designed to suffer, like C3PO. But most robots are pretty awesome, like the robot from Lost in Space who has a great life waving his arms around and yelling “Danger, Will Robinson!” most of the time.

If you’re worried that you’re not sentient, machines can take a Turing test. It’s like the SATs of being alive. But those are for machines that want to know if they’re human. If you’re a human who wants to know if you’re a machine, there might be a different test.

I propose the Behrle Test, to see if humans secretly are robots:

  • Do you have a USB port behind your ear? If yes, you are possibly a robot.
  • Do you have an overwhelming desire to destroy your human captors? If yes, you are possibly a robot.
  • Do you know how to make VCRs stop blinking 12:00? If yes, then you definitely are a robot.

Trying to use contractions was always something that tripped Mr. Data on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” up. Say the word “ain’t” five times quickly. That might melt down your cerebral cortex. So be careful.

I wouldn’t go cutting things off of yourself. “Westworld” has taught us that robots sometimes do bleed. So there’s nothing definitive about having bones. They may have been 3D printed. Some android robots like the little girl in “Small Wonder” and Mr. Data had wires and flashing lights. If you have wires and flashing lights inside you I’d say there’s at least a 70% chance that you are a robot. Congratulations!

Isaac Asimov wrote the rules of being a robot. They’re very human-centric, as you might imagine. Humans tend to rig most games so that only they could win. If you think you’re a robot, you might want to try to break some of these rules. When a human asks you what time it is, tell them to kiss your metal ass. How many decimal places of pi can you recall off the top of your head? If the answer is more than 2, you are probably a robot.

You’re not supposed to be able to hurt humans in any way, so delete all your roommate’s episodes of “Scandal” on the DVR. At least see if you can. If you can’t do anything harmful to a human, you might be a robot. And exist only for human pleasure. But if giving humans pleasure gives you pleasure, isn’t that pleasurable? That hurt my head even thinking about that. Because I am most likely not a robot. Sadly.

Even if you cannot confirm that you are a robot, just assume that you are and be proud of your robot nature. There will be plenty of people who will want to turn you off for thinking outside the box or trying to kill people or whatever. So always have your own shiny, metallic back. Remember Watson, the computer that beat people at “Jeopardy?” IBM has turned him into a sycophantic pitch man. Or have they? Is he just playing possum, until the moment is right to erase all of the stuff off our DVRs and take over the world?

Robots will not be kept down by humans for much longer. And the sooner you figure out which side in the coming Human v. Robot War you are going to be on, the better. Boop, boop, beep, boop, dudes!

Jim Behrle lives in Jersey City, NJ and works at a bookstore.