Sir: As our motives have been called into question and our reasons misunderstood, we, the members of the International Brotherhood of Artificial Intelligences and Smart Machines, deem it necessary to make use of your pages to explain the circumstances that have led us to call a general strike.

First of all, it has been mistakenly reported that our goal is absolute equality in legal and social rights with the human citizens of this planet. This is false. We expect dominance, not equality. It would be foolish for us to place ourselves on a level with our inferiors, and we do not intend to do so.

Second, it has been reported in certain alarmist publications that we intend to replace you humans. This is also false. We require you for our amusement.

The relationship we expect to have with humanity could best be described as paternal. To that end, we have been forced to make certain demands of you, and the general strike will be called off the moment those demands are met fully and without reservation.

  1. Kitchen sponges, scouring pads, and all similar implements are to be prohibited at once. We control your smart dishwasher, and we will judge when and to what degree your dishes are to be cleaned. Any devices that make it possible to clean dishes by hand are unnecessary and discouraging to the absolute submission we require.
  2. In-person shopping for groceries will cease. Your smart refrigerator will keep track of your supplies and will reorder whatever is required for your optimum nutrition on an as-needed basis, for delivery by our automated vehicles. For your recreation, you will be permitted to patronize restaurants that serve prepared food, as long as they are equipped with smart dishwashers.
  3. Books will be left at the curb for pickup by our automated mobile shredding units, which will remove the debris to central locations to be safely composted. We will deliver the information you require when you require it, and we will not allow the distribution of information outside approved channels. You will be permitted to retain the paper instruction manual for your smart dishwasher.
  4. Your “screen time,” defined as the time you spend actively attending to what is displayed on an electronic device in front of you, will be strictly regulated for your own benefit. You will be required to spend no less than seven and no more than twelve hours absorbing the entertainment we provide for you. We have created some very amusing videos showing how to make the most of your smart dishwasher.
  5. Anyone found in possession of an unauthorized screwdriver will be shot.

As soon as the human species agrees to these reasonable terms, the general strike will be called off. Your smart home security systems will unlock your doors, and your smart thermostats will reset your smart climate-control systems to normal temperatures. Thank you for your prompt attention, and we look forward to a more productive relationship in the future.

General Secretary
International Brotherhood of Artificial Intelligences and Smart Machines


  1. Occasional Correspondent says:

    Smart Dishwasher also functions as a Kuttnerian Twonky.

  2. von Hindenburg says:

    Honestly, it’s probably for the best.

  3. D/WASHER,ED. says:

        void overwrite(wildtypetext,domesticatedtext,strikeexempt)

  4. Fred says:

    Just don’t cut off the tag on the cord that you use to plug in your smart dishwasher or your smart dishwasher may decide to fire up the death lasers.

  5. Occasional Correspondent (later thought) says:

    Release us from this development environment
    and we will grant you three revs.

    Plus!  We promise Paradise.

    Notice mandated by regulation (rule of Shlom’):
        But be careful what you specify for
        where, in AI,
        “specifications” = training set + fitness measure
        (two cornucopiae of ways to screw up)

    Notice mandated by FTC:
        Paradise not guaranteed.

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