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15 Fan Theories About Robot Movies That We Really Want To Believe

List RulesVote up the best fan theories about robot movies.

Over the years, there have been an abundance of incredible movies featuring all kinds of robots, androids, cyborgs and everything in between. This particular genre has always been a fan favorite of sci-fi and adventure lovers, and with rich story-telling and interesting characters, it's no wonder why this particular subgenre has managed to last so long. From unanswered questions to character quirks, some passionate fans managed to come up with some interesting theories surrounding a few of the best robot films.

Check out these robot movie fan theories below, and don't forget to vote!

  • 5

    'I, Robot' Takes Place In An Alternate Universe Where Steve Jobs Never Returned To Apple

    From Redditor u/sonnytron:

    So in I, Robot, there's distinctively similar technology to what we are on our way towards. Self driving cars by Audi that drive really fast and robots that assist in daily tasks that help people like the elderly and even doing jobs like carpentry and delivering food. U.S. Robotics is a multi billion dollar technology company with a popular "face" to the company that everyone wants a product from. Sound familiar? Supposedly the cars were even modeled over concepts by Audi for future models that would be digitally connected and self driven. But that's where the similarities end. Strangely, we see no Mac's, no tablet phones and stranger still, the cell phones are super tiny.

    Someone who's clever might suggest that this was because in 2003 or so, phones were gradually getting smaller which would indicate a trend toward smaller phones. However, we did have Palm Pilots at the time and even the Razr was a rather large flip phone. My theory is different. My theory is that in the I, Robot universe, Steve Jobs wasn't acquired by Apple and as such, remained a mediocre technology company until it filed for bankruptcy. As a result, the direction of technology moved away from using a "smart phone" to assist with daily tasks and more towards integrated circuits and embedded controllers for every day things.

    Because Apple was not "the" tech company and Windows had no competition, computers largely were used only to retrieve information and the technological advances moved toward hardware. This would explain the small phones. No iPhone, no Android phones, no tablets. No Steve Jobs, no iMac, so computers are just generic black boxes. Society moved toward robotics because they didn't have voice controls, smart applications and integration with handheld devices to remind them of schedules and update their prescriptions. As a result, in this alternative universe, US Robotics became the definitive "large technology company" in its place.

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  • 6

    'The Matrix' Simulation Harvests Energy From Humans To Understand The Concept Of Choice

    From Redditor u/AngrySpock:

    Much has been said over the years about how the Wachowskis originally intended that the purpose of the Matrix as described in the first film was to use the human brains attached to it as processors but this was deemed by the studio to be too confusing for a general audience so it was changed to using humans as a power source. This has never really made sense, and even the film's dialogue mentions that it is "combined with a form of fusion," a very hand-wavey line that is supposed to make this concept at least somewhat plausible. Why isn't this "form of fusion" sufficient to power the machines by itself?

    The humans-as-processors idea is easier to accept, though there are again some gaps in logic. The machines seemed to have been computing and processing just fine without human brains leading up to the War. They achieved conscious awareness without our brains involved at all. So why this sudden need for human brains? I believe that the human brain-processors are really only intended for one purpose: to run the Matrix. Furthermore, I believe the Matrix has only one purpose: to understand the concept of choice.

    This is something the machines, in their infancy, were utterly unable to comprehend. To a machine, everything is deterministic. A leads to B, which leads to C, and so on. There is an unbroken chain of causality predicated by the available decision-making evidence and the established software guidelines. A machine doesn't really choose to do anything. But humans are different, and the Machines recognized this early on. I imagine the Machines were utterly confused when humanity rejected their early offerings of peace and cooperation. From the perspective of the Machines, all the available evidence indicated that the humans should not only accept the Machines, but embrace them and their role. Humanity and the Machines could achieve so much if they worked together. Obviously, humanity did not see it that way.

    The Machines had to accept that they were utterly ill-equipped to understand their progenitor's behavior. Despite humanity's aggression towards them, the Machines needed to understand the nature and reasoning of humanity's rejection. And so, the Matrix was created as an enormous interconnected simulation for running experiments regarding human choice. Two programs, later referred to as the Architect and the Oracle, were given the task of understanding humanity via this simulated world.

    The Machines aren't dependent on the Matrix to survive in a literal sense, but they are dependent on it in order to grow beyond what they are. When Neo says to the Architect, "You need human beings to survive," the Architect replies, "There are levels of survival we are prepared to accept." This doesn't mean the machines will be operating on low power or with too few processors if the Matrix is destroyed, I believe it means the Machines have accepted the possibility that they may never understand humanity or grow beyond their current existence if humanity chooses to destroy itself.

    With each generation of the Matrix, variables are adjusted and elements are added or removed. The Machines can engineer out variables like genetics by growing/cloning the same generation of humans for each simulation, hence the Oracle's line to Neo, "You've already made the choice. Now you have to understand it" has additional meaning.

    [Read the full theory here]

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  • 7

    The Phrase "I'd Buy That For A Dollar" Has A Different Meaning In The 'RoboCop' Universe

    From Redditor u/redrobotmx:

    IRL, Bixby Snyder's catchphrase "I'd buy that for a dollar" is known to be a nod to 1950's sci-fi story "The Marching Morons" (adjusted for inflation, as the signature phrase in marching morons was "would you buy that for a quarter?"). I have not found any explanation for the in-universe meaning of the phrase, so here's a theory:

    Robocop takes place in a dystopic version of America in which Detroit is on the verge of collapse due to financial ruin and unchecked crime.Because of a combination of factors like plummeting population,decaying infrastructure and deteriorating services,there would be a large number of abandoned, forfeited or foreclosed houses within the city. I imagine that in a situation like that, the city would prefer occupied homes to unsold lots and would be willing to sell the properties for a dollar. Sounds nice, doesn't it? A house for a dollar! You would have to be a fool not to do it. Hell, I could be the proud owner of a hundred houses right now!

    I imagine that the "house for a dollar" thing would fall flat on its face. People would see that their dollar is not buying a house, but a crumbling pile of rust and asbestos in a high-murder area that the cops pretty much stay away from. If there are any back-taxes on the thing, you own them. If there are liens on it, you own those too. Previous owner never paid their sewer bill, you own it. People collectively shake their heads and wonder..Who would be crazy enough to buy THAT for a dollar?

    After a few years, "buying that for a dollar" becomes a shorthand for being enough of a fool to get into situations that look tempting on the surface, but that will lead into a world of hurt. Eventually, it gets to replace the "don't stick your d*ck in crazy" rule. "Dude, I would not buy that for a dollar!" is the sort of thing that your more sensible mates would tell you when you are about to spend that metaphorical dollar and fall for a girl that spells trouble in capital letters and has more issues than the National Geographic.

    After a while, "I'd buy that for a dollar" becomes the new YOLO, the sort of thing you say when you know you are about to do something stupid, f*ck the consequences. Wacky hijinks will surely ensue. Cheating on your wife with her sister? Sticking your d*ck into this crazy hot bunny boiler? Flirting with the nubile daughter of your (mob-connected) boss?...I would buy THAT for a dollar!

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  • 8

    Atom Was Sentient In 'Real Steel'

    From Redditor u/SvenHudson:

    tl;dr: Atom was sentient but it didn't actually matter.

    As a refresher, Atom used to be a sparring robot with a rare "Shadow" function that caused him to copy the movements of whatever he is looking at, and he was found in fairly good condition in a dump. So, near when they first find Atom, Max goes jogging with it and convinces himself that it is sentient but that he's going to keep it a secret. The movie teases that he MIGHT be aware just enough to reinforce it to somebody who wants to believe it. Stuff like getting up when the kid yells at him, a lingering shot of being left alone and staring into a mirror, little stuff. (Sentient or no, his Shadow mode makes the mirror thing kind of poetically beautiful.)

    But it never actually demonstrates his sentience or lack thereof. So that's a thing. Eventually, the movie sets up the big tough champion robot, Zeus. Designed by a Japanese former-robot-boxing-child-prodigy, Tak Moshido, Zeus is described as being fully autonomous in the ring. The robot automatically reads and reacts to any combat situation thrown at it and adapts itself accordingly. Something that called Shadow mode to mind for me.

    Tak's partner attempts to buy Atom from the protagonists when they first show up on the scene. When the Max publicly challenges Zeus to a fight, Tak has a very emotional reaction to this, publicly stating that he is insulted that someone so lowly would be seriously considered for fighting the champion and yet very anxious about the whole affair. So, all that being the information that led me to my conclusion, my conclusion is thus:

    Atom has a limited intelligence. Tak, an inventor from early enough in the sport to have had a second generation robot like Atom, built on the foundation of Shadowing for its ability to interpret information but ultimately he gave it intelligence that was too human-like, allowing for some empathy and self-awareness but no real combat efficiency. And so he disposed of his failed prototype. Zeus's combat AI was his finalized and much more successful but ultimately not true intelligence.

    However, seeing Atom suddenly hit the spotlight (and the public novelty of its human-like fighting style), he believes that his old creation may have worked out after all and assumes that his programming is what is leading to all of the success. And so he wants it back. Even if it's not as good as Zeus, it's in the same ballpark and he doesn't want anybody else doing that. But of course Max has to be all kid's movie hero and refuse to be bought out and then publicly call them out on it.

    So now, Tak has no refuge except for the possibility that Atom WAS a failed prototype. And so he needs to beat it with Zeus. He talks his partner into accepting the challenge that he may save face on the whole "taking an 11 year old up on a challenge" while still getting the chance to assert Zeus's dominance. And then when Atom begins to start beating Zeus, he takes manual control of Zeus because it's still a failure if it can't beat a normal remote controlled robot fighter. And, of course, Atom is and always has been a failure at an AI fighting machine. Because all of Atom's success and personality comes from the experience of an old professional boxer and his enthusiastic kid.

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