Seven androids – and their lessons for enterprise IT

Seven androids – and their lessons for enterprise IT

Summary: Google's choice of Android as a brand name for its mobile platform is interesting and suggestive. Here, ZDNet picks out seven of fiction's most arresting androids and the lessons their fables have for business technology

SHARE:
TOPICS: Emerging Tech
2

 |  Image 1 of 8

  • Google's choice of Android as a brand name for its mobile platform is interesting and suggestive. Throughout fiction, androids — created beings that look more or less like humans — have been used as vehicles for strong, cautionary stories, highlighting some of the aspects of being human that can cause trouble if things go out of balance. In particular, powerful entities promising not to do evil can be particularly dangerous if they can't — or don't — stick to their word.

    The following pages feature seven of fiction's most arresting androids — and the lessons their fables have for modern enterprise IT.

  • The Golem
    One of the very first androids in legend, the Golem was a clay man brought to life by Rabbi Loew of Prague, to defend the Jews against attacks. Powerful and utterly obedient, it always did exactly what it was told — and in so doing, wreaked havoc. In some versions of the story, it becomes unco-operative and turns on its maker.

    IT moral
    Your security systems have the potential to do you great damage — even if they're working perfectly — if you command them badly. What can protect you from harm can also prevent you from doing what you need to do — so remember, usability and functionality are as important as the ability to spot and block attacks. Also, make sure you know where the off switch is.

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8

Topic: Emerging Tech

Rupert Goodwins

About Rupert Goodwins

Rupert started off as a nerdy lad expecting to be an electronics engineer, but having tried it for a while discovered that journalism was more fun. He ended up on PC Magazine in the early '90s, before that evolved into ZDNet UK - and Rupert evolved with them into an online journalist.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

2 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • How could you?

    No list of androids would be complete without Marvin, the Paranoid Android. The maniacally depressed but hyper intelligent creation of the late Douglas Adams, in the ever popular Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, Radio Series, Books, TV Series, Computer Game and more recently, Film.

    Lesson for IT. No matter how good the technology, if you get the user interface wrong, its full potential will never be realised as the users will reject the system as unworkable. Instead they will go and find a cup of tea.
    julian-ff696-24734373493463300183454248619808
  • Star Trek was full of them

    If you are so inclined you could do a series of Android "lessons" based on Star Trek episodes!

    The first Android episode I thought of was the Harvey Mudd episode where the con-man has a planet full of "Barbie" doll androids to keep him company.

    Another one was where the "Barbie" dolls (another group of them) come and steal Spock's brain to run their planet-spaceship.

    Good series! :
    Xwindowsjunkie-e92c6