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What If the Robots on Westworld Got Infected With Malware?

The robot hosts on Westworld suffer from technical difficulties all the time. But whenever those robots error out, it’s very dramatic and high-stakes, usually with ominous piano music playing underneath it all. Also, usually, the types of problems that happen on Westworld result in robots potentially harming humans or staging a revolution or whatever. There are very few small-scale, mundane errors on that show. But… shouldn’t there be?

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That’s what comedian Matt Harbert noticed, anyway, which must be why he put together this parody video titled “Westworld: BETA,” starring himself as a robot host and an unnamed actress as an Elsie-like programmer character trying to run diagnostics. The video illustrates exactly how annoying it would be if devices (in the case, robots) ran on spoken-word commands, as they do on Westworld, as well as how annoying it would be if any of those robots got infected with malware or viruses of any kind.

On Westworld, the only dangers to the robots are internal, at least as far as we know. The employees have to worry about other employees turning on the organization and making the robots do nefarious stuff. But in real life, we know IT and QA jobs would be a total grind–not nearly as fast-paced and bad-ass as it seems on Westworld.

Implementing basic updates, for example. Wouldn’t that take a long time to do? It’s all instantaneous on Westworld, thanks to the magic of TV editing–but in this video, the update takes a very… very… very long time. Seems a lot more realistic, to be honest.

(image via screencap)

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Maddy Myers
Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (, and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (

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