As children, most of us humans are taught not to be a “sore loser” by throwing some kind of tantrum when we lose a competition. The idea of gracefully accepting defeat forms the basis of friendship, democracy, and game shows, but Fox is risking the sanctity of all of that by developing a new show in which humans must compete against malevolent entities that know nothing about the danger of being a sore loser. We are talking, of course, about evil robots—or at least neutral robots that have the potential to become evil.
According to Deadline, Fox has made a pilot for a game show called Man Vs Robot, which comes from British production company Tuesday’s Child and will center on families competing against robots in a “battle for supremacy.” It’s all a bit unclear from Deadline’s story, but it sounds like this battle for supremacy will involve the humans trying to beat human-sized robots in games of some kind, with Tuesday’s Child head Karen Smith naming Pong as a possibly hypothetical example of what one of these challenges could be.
Smith also casually says that “people are a little bit scared” of this concept, which seems like an outrageous understatement. We try not to overemphasize the threat of a robot apocalypse here at The A.V. Club, but we see two outcomes here: The robots beat the humans in Fox’s game show, causing them to realize that they’re better than humans and should kill us all, or the robots lose to the humans and are so frustrated by this that they throw robot tantrums by killing their competitors and then all humans.
Robot apologists may point to Watson beating Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in that Jeopardy! match as proof that the robots won’t turn evil if they win, but Watson was an AI and therefore lacked the arms and legs needed for a heel turn. These robots sound more like proper Terminators, so they could easily start stomping our skulls whenever they feel like it. Also, look how terrified Jennings is in that photo. Watson was probably whispering threats to him the whole time.