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.

Eric Mack Contributing Editor
Eric Mack has been a CNET contributor since 2011. Eric and his family live 100% energy and water independent on his off-grid compound in the New Mexico desert. Eric uses his passion for writing about energy, renewables, science and climate to bring educational content to life on topics around the solar panel and deregulated energy industries. Eric helps consumers by demystifying solar, battery, renewable energy, energy choice concepts, and also reviews solar installers. Previously, Eric covered space, science, climate change and all things futuristic. His encrypted email for tips is ericcmack@protonmail.com.
Expertise Solar, solar storage, space, science, climate change, deregulated energy, DIY solar panels, DIY off-grid life projects, and CNET's "Living off the Grid" series Credentials
  • Finalist for the Nesta Tipping Point prize and a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Eric Mack
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.

Tech that should never become sentient (pictures)

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