Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Zombies vs. Robots: Oh yeah, I went there!

G4 asked me the following question today: Zombies vs. Robots, who would dominate the world better?
Well G4, I hate to spoil what you think is a terribly difficult question, but the answer is most certainly zombies. Allow me to explain why.

Robots are limited by a series of factors:
1. One must have enough resources to build an army of robots, or at least a few robots with enough weapons to take down mass amounts of people before being crushed.
2. EMP can take out a robot, or an army of robots. Really, EMP is kind of awesome.
3. Robots could become intelligent enough to want to take us all out, sure, and they don’t require food to survive, but they need something to power them, and that very thing could be restricted or run out quite easily. (But Lara, what about Solar Powered Robots? Well, I thought of that, and solar panels have to be replaced an average of every 4 to 6 years, plus, again, would not make robots immune to EMP).
4. Robots cannot necessarily produce more robots.

I mean, yeah, the Terminator Robots are pretty damn terrifying, but not unstoppable!

Possible advantages the robots possess:
1. The ability to conduct ranged combat.
2. Super Speed
3. Super Strength

Zombies may be limited by their shotgun-susceptible-squishy bits, but they are unhindered in their following abilities:
1. The virus does not discriminate, it merely infects. As the infection spreads, it spreads without hindrance. There is no cure for the zombie virus.
2. They can be shambling zombies, or even sprinting Resident Evil 4 zombies, but either way they will eat your brains if you don’t have enough ammo or skill with a weapon to stop them.
3. When the zombies come, will you really be prepared for the onslaught? I mean really?
4. With a current estimated global population of 6.7 billion, there is the possibility for 6.7 billion potential zombies.

MHMMM... That's pretty damn scary. (Photo from Romero's film Dawn of the Dead)

So if you still don’t believe me…read this awesome article from or check out the Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks. You can also check up on How to Survive a Robot Uprising by Daniel H. Wilson a PhD Candidate at the Carnegie Mellon University where he has received master’s degrees in Robotics and Data Mining.

Can you imagine facing this many zombies alone? SERIOUSLY?!? (Picture from Dead Rising for the XBOX 360)

I think I’ve made my point.
Lady Lara Jones


Danicus said...

I would think the central processor (i.e Skynet) would be intelligent enough to EMP shield its drones. In fact, I have a pretty compelling argument to that effect. Judgement Day began when Skynet launched the whole world's nuclear payload, but Skynet itself is a thinking computer. essentially a robot. It would have wiped itself out in that first salvo because nuclear explosions come with a massive EMP burst. However, Skynet was apparently shielded against the harmful energy, and being a superintelligent computer CAPABLE OF BUILDING A TIME MACHINE.... (just to illustrate how smart it is) would build all of its robot drones to have the same defensive capabilities. that's just common sense.

Danicus said...

Also, the resources required to build a robot army... not that big a deal. Mine the earth for all it's worth, not like a robot needs to breathe, they can exist in horrifying conditions. far more so than a puny human.
And, in order to really count as 'taking over the world' i think you have to operate under the assumption that the robots are self-replicating, or at least have a central factory (Skynet again) without that, you've gotta assume they'll eventually die out (unless there's spontaneously 6 billion of them or something.) Even the basic models of terminator have a 120-year battery.

Danicus said...

Switching gears to zombies.
To answer your question.... I'm already prepared for them. So much so that I'm not even worried, honestly. When the dead walk the earth, I'm gonna be like a frigging warlord. Organize BEFORE they rise.
I would also like to clear up this misinformation campaign of yours, as it will likely get someone killed. ZOMBIES DO NOT SOLELY EAT BRAINS. THAT IS A MYTH. they crave the flesh of the living or very freshly dead, and do not discriminate over what part of your anatomy they're gnawing on.
While there is no cure for Solanum (or 'the zombie virus') It's very hard to transmit. you must be bitten, or have the virus introduced to your bloodstream some other way. it is not airborne, and ingesting it with food simply kills you.

Danicus said...

Preparation and training can see a zombie outbreak quashed in days, if not hours.
But for the sake of the argument, let's say the infection has spread and become a Class III, where at least 25% of the Earth's population has become infected. Yes, this is a problem, but not insurmountable. I point you to Max Brooks' other great work, "World War Z". All about how no matter the odds, some pockets of humanity will survive.
And as far as longevity goes, the moment a zombie is infected, it begins to decay. even the most resilient human body will decay beyond use in a handful of years. If you can isolate a human population capable of continuing the race, within twenty years at the MOST (including others getting infected some years down the line)... you've won the zombie war. Just institute safeguards against zombies thawing out of polar ice, or somehow mummifying in the desert, but that will rarely occur.

Danicus said...

SO... your argument has some inherent flaws. Which would be the more efficient and deadly invasion? Surely the robot hordes, with their systematic elimination of everything with a heartbeat. A zombie invasion would be haphazard and driven by instinct, not cool and collected logic.
The human's ability to out-think its opponent is one of our major defenses. Perfect against a mindless zombie, not as much of an advantage against true A.I.
Now, which apocalypse would be more FUN? Zombies. hands down.

PS> Resident Evil 4 zombies no longer eat flesh, as they're not affected by the Progenitor virus or T-virus. they've been infected with a strain called Las Plagas, which is just a mind control virus. I daresay, Resident Evil hasnt had a true zombie in it since RE 2.

Lady Lara Jones said...

I see your point, but I like zombies better so BLEEEEHHHH.
Yeah, I have decided to constructively reply.

Lady Lara Jones said...

Just You do make some decent points. I just think at this moment robots are not the most feasible uprising to come about. I think zombies could be a more immediate threat.

Ian said...

Ok, to the immediately above comment, WHAAAAAT?!?!

Secondly, Crichton-esq nanomachines are far scarier and more likely than zombies (barring the Haitian variety, which aren't really what we're talking about here). Convenience breeds innovation, innovation is almost immediately assessed for potential military application, potential military application juices-up development, military development - in the case of robot and/or AI technology - is what eventually brings about our end. So, you advertise your 'bots well enough to the military-industrial complex and before long, voila! Armageddon. (That's right, I just did Roomba, Aibo and Deep Blue to Terminator, Prey and The Matrix in one paragraph.)

But yes, I think a zombie apocalypse would be more scary, since the nanomachines would just kill everyone before you knew what was going on, and the giant gundam-esq robots swarming out of Japan would just be so awesome I wouldn't care.

Danicus said...

U, nah. the robots are way scarier. if only because I've been ready for the zombies for years. Got a gun under my bed, 50 rounds on the nightstand, a knight stick on my headboard, dagger on the wall, and a sword in the next room.

And that's just weaponry. My other survival gear (food, tools, etc) are in the other room, car, motorcycles, bicycle... all those are downstairs too.
So yeah, I'm not really afraid of the zombies. Bring 'em on.