So today I bring something to feed your fear of artificial intelligence with.
The Top 10 Greatest Cyborg and AI Villains – of all time!
Bwahahahahaha! *electronic buzz*
To make it onto this list our character must be a villain, must be either partially or fully synthetic, and they’ll all be from video-based media. Although someday I want to write a top 10 about evil robots in literature. But that’s another list for another day.
Let the worst one win.
#10 Ultron – Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes
Ultron is one badass melon farmer. He goes rogue and takes on ALL of the Avengers and hands their butts to them repeatedly- in the cartoon that is. That’s why I picked the Ultron of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes over his live-action version. Live action Age of Ultron? PFfffttt! A total wimp compared to the cartoon.
#9 Cybermen – Dr Who
“You will be upgraded.”
Cybermen are a race of cybernetically augmented humaniods with no emotions and are motivated by their insatiable drive to re-engineer other humaniods.
It seems that every time the Doctor admits to being afraid it’s either the Daleks or the Cybermen who are around. And I was incredibly tempted to have the Daleks on this list, but they aren’t Cyborgs as much as they are organics piloting exoskeletons. So, The Cybermen win this time.
#8 The Borg – Star Trek: Next Generation
“We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.”
The Borg are a (sort-of) species of cybernetic beings from the Delta Quadrant. Their ultimate goal is to forcibly assimilate all sentient species, technologies and knowledge.
The Borg and the Cybermen are two peas in a multidimensional pod. And out of the two, I feel like the Borg are more frightening. Possibly because with Cybermen, people are essentially turned into a brain in a tin can. With the Borg, you’re more of a corpse-puppet being controlled by a machine. That seems worse to me.
#7 The Machines – The Matrix
The Machines are a highly advanced population of sentient artificial intelligences that conquered Earth and enslaved all of humanity to use as living batteries.
Plus, squiggly mechanical octopus arms are cool.
#6 False Maria – Metropolis
The cat’s meow of art deco robots, False Maria (aka Maschinenmensch – which is German for “Machine-human”) and the first robot ever depicted in cinema.
The character Maria is captured by Rotwang and a duplicate machine-version of her is created. This false Maria then orchestrates the sabotage of the world’s mechanical heart to bring about the end of the city as they knew it.
I can see False Maria as having, perhaps, influenced the design of the Cybermen. Don’t you think?
#5 Darth Vader – Star Wars
Darth Vader is the once heroic Jedi Knight who was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He became a ruthless Sith Lord and led the Empire’s eradication of the Jedi Order.
Darth Vader joins the list of nefarious cyborgs because he was more machine than man after Obi-Wan Kenobi severed his legs, remaining arm, and left him to roast for a while near some lava.
#4 T-800 – Terminator
AI doesn’t get much more badass than the Cyberdyne Systems model 101 series 800 Terminator. T-800 is a time-traveling, gun toting, cyborg hit-man who will do anything to accomplish his mission – which was to kill Sarah Connor.
#3 Roy Batty – Blade Runner
Roy Batty, model number N6MAA10815, is the leader of the renegade Nexus-6 replicants. He is incredibly intelligent, fast, and dangerously skilled in combat, but has a hard time understanding emotions. He is a perfect example of the brutality we tend to give our villainous AIs and he embodies what cyborgs in Sci-Fi are often asking us to answer. “What is human?” and do we fit the definition when the violence is over and we are the ones left standing.
#2 Ash – Alien
Unbeknownst to the crew of the USCSS Nostromo, their science officer, Ash, was a Hyperdyne Systems 120-A/2 synthetic. He was placed on board as a sleeper agent to ensure the capture and transport of a live Xenomorph for The Company to use in weapons development.
With no intrinsic value of life, it can be really easy for priority protocols to turn a cyborg against you. And often they aren’t easy to stop- because some brilliant engineer said, “hey, let’s make these buggers super strong too. That’d probably be helpful.”
#1 Hal 9000- 2001 A Space Odyssey
Hal, “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that.”
HAL (Heuristically Programmed Algorithmic computer) 9000 is a sentient computer (or artificial intelligence) that controls the Discovery One spacecraft and is the crew’s interface. He commits the ultimate act of betrayal when he turns on the crew he is in charge of. When you’re in space and your space ship turns against you… well, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. And what you can do, requires some serious fortitude to outwit and overcome something that was created to outwit you.
What have we learned?
Don’t give up too much of your independence for the sake of convince.
Barring that, don’t piss off the technology you are dependent on.