Spielberg stops 'Robopocalypse,' perhaps on orders of evil master robot

"Except for the 'crushed by a robot' thing, I think you're describing Thanksgiving for every family in the United States," Wilson said. "That's pretty much the way it is, right? Every new generation has new technology that the older generation struggles to understand. They remember a better time when things were simpler."

Ah, those days when you could order a chocolate soda, and robots wouldn't crush your head.

Fools among you will dismiss sci-fi as the peculiar domain of nerds, but the thing is, good sci-fi is highly political. And "Robopocalypse" is no exception.

The survivors flee to an Indian reservation. Whenever they use technology, the robots detect it, and track them. So humans are forced to live off the grid. No more texting during dinner.

"In Robopocalypse, some humans don't make it. They go out there in the country, and they starve. It's about what happens when we experience a drastic change in our environment," Wilson said.

Wilson's latest book, "Amped," is about scientific discoveries designed to help those born with mental and physical disabilities.

But then the technology explodes. The disabled who have been given new powers eclipse the unimpaired. Does a parent compel a child to have brain surgery because others in her class are surpassing her? Can a nation force its people to artificially augment themselves because a rival country is doing it wholesale?

"The whole field of neuroprosthetics and biomedical engineering is blowing up right now," Wilson said. "It'll be really interesting to watch how this technology comes into our bodies and changes us.

"Every new piece of technology is like a lily pad," he said. "And it's tough to know just when to jump off."

You'll know, when the robots start sounding like Jude Law. Then it's time to run.

jskass@tribune.com

Twitter @John_Kass

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