9 gadgets that should never become self-aware

Skynet doesn't keep Crave's Eric Mack up at night, but the prospect of a Roomba that can match his wit sure does. Here's why, plus eight more technologies he'd rather would just keep playing dumb.

If your Glass ever starts showing "A Clockwork Orange" in the corner of your eye against your will, we're all in trouble. CNET

It's a science fiction trope that keeps many folks, particularly our less tech-savvy relatives, up at night. What happens if the machines take over?

Those of us who are a little more familiar with the world of technology tend to be less concerned, in my experience, about a real-life Skynet becoming self-aware and reinterpreting its own code to call for the extermination of its creators.

But surely there's no harm in being prepared, right? So why not try to identify those gadgets that are currently out there now that would pose the biggest threat (or just be downright creepy) should they be granted the gifts of sentience and free will?

I've plumbed the depths of my own nightmares (and a few twisted revenge fantasies) to compile the below gallery of technologies that I definitely would not like to see able to think for themselves.

It's a completely subjective list, and I'm sure I've missed many gadgets that would make us all feel safer if they just stayed "dumb." So please click through below to view my starter gallery and add your own horrifying visions of too-smart phones and beyond in the comments.

About the author

Crave freelancer Eric Mack is a writer, radio producer, and podcaster based in Taos, N.M., but he lives in Google+. He's also managing editor of Crowdsourcing.org and has written e-books on both Alaska and Android. E-mail Eric.

 

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