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What’s Scarier: Monkey Apocalypse or Robot Apocalypse?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Butler chapter.


Sometimes when you’re trying to get to know people, you ask them cutesie questions that tell you a lot about their personality. Questions like, “What’s your favorite song of all time?” or “If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you go?”

Unfortunately, my brain likes to go way too deep way too fast. (My roommates joke about my default get-to-know-you question being “What makes you sad?”)

Luckily, I’ve been able to find a happy medium. As a result of a massive Googling spree during an end-of-the-year high school English class during which we watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I’ve come up with a question that balances the heaviness of fear with the ability to accurately gauge who a person is:


What’s scarier: monkeys taking over the world or robots taking over the world?


I will now evaluate the arguments on both sides.


Robots. We created them, but they can destroy us.

Artificial intelligence is becoming very advanced. Teams of scientists and engineers are working very hard to create something nearly identical to human life.



If there comes to a point where robots realize that we created them and they have no idea why they’re here, they will begin to become very angry. Humans have been having this same crisis since the beginning of time, hence the study of philosophy.


The difference is that we actually have an answer for their existence: we created them. Why? Because we could.

Self-aware technology will then become bitter and angry at us for creating it, possibly desiring to overpower us. They won’t be able to empathize with us because robot emotions are synthetic. And we certainly can’t convince them not to overthrow us, in that case.


Monkeys. They’re like us. Too much like us.

They’re sick of our speciesist B.S. and have a rational reason to be angry with our treatment of them.


I’m not saying human zoos, but human zoos.

They’re impulsive. They aren’t driven by logical desires, but driven by emotions and survival instincts. If for some reason that changes, there is little separating them from us.


At the end of the day, monkeys are scary because they represent everything that exists inside us that we don’t want to be. If monkeys become logical like us, then we as humans no longer have any idea who we are, sending us all into a collective identity crisis.

And, you know, human zoos.

My verdict: Monkey apocalypse is scarier.


At the end of the day, humans created robots, so we have the capability to take them down. They could be reprogrammed not to hate us.

But monkeys are organic, and we can’t physically destroy their motive or rationally talk them out of it after we’ve spent thousands of years hurting them. I can’t imagine they’ll be moved by our apologies.

If you have any other thoughts on the issue that I have maybe not considered, I am 100% down to talk about this with you. I look forward to having this discussion many, many more times.


Also, if there’s a guy or a girl you really like and want to get to know better, please ask them which apocalypse is scarier. If it doesn’t start a great conversation, they aren’t the right one.


Kait Wilbur is an aggressively optimistic individual obsessed with sitcoms, indie music, and pop culture in general. She hails from Manito, a rural wasteland in Illinois so small and devoid of life that she took up writing to amuse herself. Kait goes to Butler University to prepare for a career in advertising, but all she really wants to do is talk about TV for a living. You can find her at any given moment with her earbuds in pretending to do homework but actually looking at surrealist memes.
Jazmine Bowens is a senior at Butler University. She is a Psychology major with a minor in Neuroscience and the Campus Corespondent for Butler University's Her Campus chapter. When she isn't in class, she's writing poetry, reading romance novels, or hanging out with her friends. Jazmine hopes to one day become an environmental lawyer and a published novelist.