The Washington Post

Another air traffic controller failure? Time for Skynet to take over!

That’s it. It’s time for Skynet to take over.

I know we keep rain-checking with the robots. “No, not this year, thanks,” we say. “Yes, it was scheduled for August 4, 1997, but we’ll hit the snooze button on that one! We still like having plants and people!” But I think we’ve shilly-shallied long enough.

It just doesn’t make sense for us to keep running things. Humans require sleep, food, water and shelter. And a suspicious number of them are taking 4/20 off from work to impair their capacity in mysterious ways.

Computers and robots require none of these things. They carve our metal. They vacuum. They don’t require positive feedback. Sure, they won’t take you out for a nice dinner, but neither will most people.

In many ways, they’re doing a better job of being human than we are. My iTunes has better taste in music than I do. My GPS knows the local cross-streets better than I know the back of my hand. The machines have Genius. We only have Talent.

We’re losing ground fast.

Look at all the air traffic controller problems we’ve been having lately. Planes are already almost entirely dependent on computer systems to fly! And that one remaining human element seems, well, glitchy. On Tuesday, the plane containing the first lady had to abort its landing due to traffic controller error. Another error? Can you believe these traffic controllers? They require sleep! They require amusement! They make mistakes when directing landings! They’re so frustratingly — human!

Bring on the robots, I say.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.