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[[quoteright:293:[[WebComic/GunnerkriggCourt http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/just_a_machine.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:293:Note the [[NotHimself uncharacteristic]] use of the pronoun "[[ItIsDehumanizing It]]".]]

->'''Mr. Kornada:''' An A.I. was brought here this morning. Where is it?\\
'''Secretary:''' ''She'' is in Lab Three.\\
'''Mr. Kornada:''' A.I.s have numbers, not names.\\
'''Secretary:''' ''[thinking]'' When they bring in donuts, they have names.
-->-- ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}''

Authors and characters in SpeculativeFiction have oft pondered whether robots, AI's, clones, and other [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman human-like entities]] can become sapient, and if so, if they also carry a [[OurSoulsAreDifferent soul]]. DoAndroidsDream

Well, not in this universe.

For whatever reason, the author decides that in her setting the A.I.s, clones, or whatnot may be [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapience sapient]], but never [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentience sentient]]. They can fall anywhere on the SlidingScaleOfRobotIntelligence -- they may [[OmnidisciplinaryScientist know a lot]] or have [[GoodWithNumbers incredible computing power]], but lack that final ''je ne sais quoi'' that separates the EmptyShell from a [[BecomeARealBoy real boy.]] Even the [[DeusEstMachina godlike machine intellect]] is somehow lacking a crucial human component that gives its existence purpose and meaning. Typically, these settings have the [[ComputerVoice placidly monotone]] ship's computer help the crew when asked, but never act on its own.

Then there're the people who just don't ''think'' they can.

To them, it's [[TitleDrop "just a machine"]]. Its only value is the monetary expense incurred in building, cloning, coding, or buying it. [[ExpendableClone It has no rights]], you can't even be accused of animal cruelty for beating it (at worst, of being wasteful or having poor taste), even when it's unique and has NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup. The humans will doubt or deny that they can GrowBeyondTheirProgramming and learn to feel, and if they ''can'' feel, then these feelings are ignored or treated as less valid than a human's smallest whimsy.

It should come as no surprise that these humans are keen on enslaving them, or if at war think nothing of killing them. Their destruction is never considered a moral question -- just one of economics or simple survival. Oh, and you can expect these people to never use male or female pronouns to refer to these characters. They often consciously choose not to as a means to [[FantasticRacism avoid humanizing them]]. Is it any wonder the robots, clones, etc. TurnedAgainstTheirMasters?

Even if they are right, you have to wonder just how psychologically healthy it is to mistreat something that is 100% human in the UncannyValley.

It can get pretty odd when the machines themselves claim this is the case. Note that the trope has seldom been played straight since the earliest days of science fiction. If it is implied to be self aware there will at least be a lampshade on this trope.

Compare NotEvenHuman. SubTrope of WhatMeasureIsANonHuman. Contrast ZombieAdvocate. See also ItIsDehumanizing.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* A constant theme in ''Manga/AstroBoy'', with anti-robot groups wanting to limit or destroy all intelligent robots.
* In ''Manga/{{Pluto}}'' as well. Notably, [[spoiler:a robot boy is going to be sold for parts despite still being partly alive. Another robot buys him to raise as a child.]]
--->'''Junkyard Worker:''' [[ArcWords 500 Zeus a body.]]
* In the ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' chapter ''The Logic of Illogic'', Hakase viewed Chachamaru as JustAMachine until she found Chachamaru's video folders, which were loaded with shots of [[RoboShip Negi]] (and [[KindHeartedCatLover cats]]).
** The most convincing moment being: [[GrowBeyondTheirProgramming Chachamaru stopping Hakase from futher inspecting those folders]] [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters (with force).]]
** Happens again to Chachamaru in chapter 312 when [[spoiler: Quartum [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe cuts her in half]] and tries to kill her (even referring to her as "a doll"). Note that this was after it had been unquestionably proven that she had a soul. [[PapaWolf Negi]] [[CurbStompBattle was]] [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe not]] [[LaserGuidedKarma amused]].]]
* Subverted in ''Anime/MazingerZ'' universe.
** Kouji and his friends usually felt no remorse when they blew up giant robots. But when they destroyed a {{Robeast}} acted more like an human being than a machine, or when a [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots Ridiculously human Robot]] died, they often felt sad. When Kouji killed the Gamia sisters (three identical android assassins), they were so human-looking he felt sickened and disturbed. Dr. Hell and his CoDragons nearly always regarded his robotic soldiers like [[JustAMachine Just Machines]] and disposable, but there are exceptions: Baron Ashura called Gamia Q1, Q2 and Q3 his/her "daughters", and he actually grieved their deaths (the person who is capable of machine-gunning between laughs a group of survivors of a shipwreck).
** And then you have Minerva-X, a HumongousMecha FemBot that was capable of thinking, feeling and acting on her own. Kouji and his friends treated her as if she was a person and Kouji went so far to [[spoiler:bury her after her death.]]
* In ''LightNovel/CrestOfTheStars'', the Abh, a genetically engineered race, regard themselves as still being humans, but according to enemy propoganda, 'Abh aren't people, they're organic machines', which is readily admitted as their true origin by an Abh not ten seconds after the propaganda is shown. They were specifically meant for long distance space exploration before faster than light technology had been fully developed.
* The CC Corp in ''Franchise/DotHack'' treats [=AIs=] as errant data and nothing more.
* ''Anime/GhostInTheShell'': The [[GenkiGirl Tachikoma]] [[SpiderTank Tanks]]. In one scene Togusa invokes this trope by dismissing Batou's favouritism of one Tachikoma, saying that they are just machines and all have the same specifications. The Tachikoma take exception to this remark, demanding he take it back and accusing Togusa of being a bigot.
* General Uranus and Colonel Hades had something like this going on against the [[ArtificialHuman Bioroids]] in the ''Manga/{{Appleseed}}'' movie. Needless to say, they are horribly wrong, since all the Bioroid constraints are artificially added for the sole purpose of making them protect, rather than threaten the humanity. And then there's the supercomputer Gaia, which does deserve this kind of opinion, but is actually still more moral than its human operators.
* ''Anime/TheBigO'': Roger Smith flip flops between believing this or [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots the opposite]] regarding androids (specifically R. Dorothy Wayneright) throughout the series. Dorothy herself flipflops on the opinion.
* The girls in ''Manga/GunslingerGirl'' are viewed by some to be simply machines, although they have all of the emotions you would expect a little girl to have. Jean in particular is incredibly callous to his assigned girl, Rico. It's implied that he deliberately goes his way to convince himself that she's just a tool because forming an emotional attachment to her would only result in pain due to her shortened lifespan.
* Hazanko of ''Anime/OutlawStar'' thinks this of Melfina.
* A major theme of ''Anime/ArmitageIII'', with an accompanying amount of senseless robot-killing.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'': Zone has this sort of view about the androids he created based on his deceased friends.
* Zig-zagged in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs''. [[TheFederation The TSAB]] thought that [[AntiVillain the Wolkenritter]] were nothing more than semi-autonomous guardian programs for the [[ArtifactOfDoom Book of Darkness]], something that Nanoha and Fate have a hard time believing since both Vita and Signum clearly had feelings. The next episode revealed that this ''used to be'' the case, but [[AndroidsArePeopleToo it isn't anymore]] thanks to [[HeartwarmingOrphan Hayate's influence]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Some people say this about ComicBook/RedTornado, with even fellow super-heroes saying that he was just a "really well-made machine". He briefly lost custody of his (adopted) daughter because of this. This is especially frustrating since in the Red Tornado's original origin, he is a Sylph (spirit of air) placed inside of a robot body. Meaning he ''provably'' has a soul, unlike the the average human.
* ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'':
** Xavin used to refer to cyborg Victor as 'automation' and offered to Karolina that he could 'buy another one' if he broke her toys. No-one was impressed, and [[GenderBender he/she]] gradually grew out of it.
** At one point, Molly objects to leaving Leapfrog (the team's flying frog-tank) in danger. Nico retorts that Leapfrog is just a machine; when Victor gives her a look, she adds "You know what I mean." It's occasionally hinted that Leapfrog could be sapient, but never delved into too deeply.
* In the ''Comicbook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica'' story "Out of Time", [[spoiler:the android Hourman Matthew Tyler]] uses this argument to justify [[spoiler:sacrificing himself in Rex Tyler's place fighting against Extant in the past to save the universe]]. [[spoiler:Rex denies this and declares that Matthew is "as alive as any of us". While Matt is grateful for this, he still goes ahead with the sacrifice.]]
* Many, many comics in ''ComicBook/TwoThousandAD'' featured this, with humans almost universally hating and mistreating robots (the few that didn't were usually regarded as exceptions) despite the latter possessing human-like intelligence, quirks, feelings, and so on. Sometimes got to the point that you started to wonder who built them since nobody seemed to want them around...
* The opinion humans in the future have about droids in Comicbook/PaperinikNewAdventures: It's eventually deconstructed when one of them decides to change history to give robots the same rights. Her plan is fooled,but eventually droids obtain the status of citizens.
* When Comicbook/{{Brainiac}} receives his [[UsefulNotes/TheBronzeAgeOfComicBooks Bronze Age]] [[TookALevelInBadAss upgrade]] into his SkeleBot form, Superman discovers that Brainiac has laid waste to an entire planet's civilization, destruction far beyond anything he had ever done before. Superman seriously considers outright destroying him, despite his ThouShaltNotKill policy, justifying it because Brainiac is JustAMachine.
* When Comicbook/IronMan and Comicbook/DeathsHead team up against Recorder 451, Death's Head is surprised that Tony hasn't ruled out killing their target, and asks if he's one of those heroes who have a code against killing [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman that doesn't apply to robots.]] Tony assures him that [[SomeOfMyBestFriendsAreX some of his best friends are robots]], before realising "That sounds kind of robot racist, right?"

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* In ''FanFic/MegaManDefenderOfTheHumanRace'', Dr. Wily sometimes has this view on robots, and the Conduit ''definitely'' does.

* ''Film/AIArtificialIntelligence'' has a group of humans who hunt and brutally destroy androids to vent their rage at the automation of labor.
* ''Anime/GhostInTheShell'', the film. It deals with an advanced AI program let loose on the internet, who claims to be a sentient entity. People disagree, saying that the idea that a program could be sentient is preposterous. [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome The Puppetmaster calls them off their high horses most awesomely.]]
* ''Film/ShortCircuit'' has this as its central premise. The robot can't be alive because it's a machine which aren't alive by definition. Never mind that it's now got free will and a sense of self-preservation, it's still just a machine... right?
* This question is debated by the characters in ''Film/TwoThousandTenTheYearWeMakeContact'' with respect to HAL, the MasterComputer of the USS ''Discovery'' who [[AIIsACrapshoot went berserk and killed his crew]] in ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''. When the astronauts' lives are threatened, it becomes a [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman major source of conflict]] between those who want to lie to him and disconnect him if he fails to perform as demanded, or tell him the truth and allow him to make his own choice.
* ''Film/{{Transformers}}'':
** In the first movie Agent Simmons seems rather against calling [[BigBad Megatron]] by his true name when it is given to him by Sam, preferring to refer to him as the more machine-like moniker; N.B.E.-01. In fact, it is implied this pisses off Megatron himself, with him seemingly being conscious the entire time he was kept frozen by them; first thing he does upon thawing and awakening is [[IncomingHam announcing his true name]], before proceeding to slaughter all of the scientists and engineers in the room.
** Galloway refers to Optimus Prime as a "pile of scrap-metal" after his dead body is delivered back to base. And this is even after Optimus managed to verbally own the guy in a debate which featured topics such as [[HumansAreBastards human nature]] and whether they could defend themselves against a Decepticon invasion. Then again, Galloway is just a huge JerkAss.
** In the third film, [[spoiler:Sentinel Prime]]'s hatred for humanity comes partly from how humans see the Autobots as this. [[spoiler:Especially when it comes to him and Optimus, who are the last remaining Primes.]]
--->'''[[spoiler:Sentinel Prime]]:''' On Cybertron we were gods! And here, they simply call us machines.
** And of course, any qualms with this way of thinking are completely understandable, since Cybertronians are most definitely ''not'' simply machines, but MechanicalLifeForms.
* In ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', Sarah Connor tries to invoke this when trying to convince John to destroy the Terminator reprogrammed to protect them.
-->'''John:''' Don't kill him.
-->'''Sarah:''' ''It'', John. Not "him", "it".
-->'''John:''' Alright, "it"! But we need "it"!
* In ''Film/IRobot'', Spooner says to the android Sonny "Human beings have dreams. Even dogs have dreams, but not you, you are just a machine." Subverted, since he is one of the few people who actually sees robots as not just machines (and loathes them for it... [[CharacterDevelopment at first]]).
* Inverted in ''Film/StarTrekTheMotionPicture'', where V'Ger dismisses organic life forms as "carbon units" and does not consider them truly alive, unlike machines. Played straight when Bones reminds Deckard that the Ilia clone is just a mechanism.
* The attitude taken towards David in ''{{Film/Prometheus}}''.
* In ''Film/BicentennialMan'', this is what many claim Andrew is. When arguing about Galatea, Rupert slips out that she's just a machine, much to Andrew's offense.
* In ''Anime/TheAnimatrix '' episode "The Second Renaissance", we find out that the Machine War that drove humans underground and left the machines in charge of Earth was the result of a species-wide feeling of this on the part of humanity. It started with a robot called B1-66ER who murdered his owner because, in his words, he didn't want to die. Robots, referred to up to this point as cheap, unfeeling labor, were then increasingly persecuted by humanity until finally they founded their own nation, 01, in the Fertile Crescent. Humanity bombed them because the robots' cheap, well-made goods were sending human economies into a tailspin, and everything went downhill from there. During scenes of protests for equal rights for machines we see a lot of scenes of robots being attacked and destroyed without provocation.
* Demolished in the spanish 2014 movie ''Film/{{Automata}}'': in one scene the protagonist tell to a robot that it's 'just a machine', the robot fires back that that's like saying the (human) protagonist is '[[IronicEcho just an ape]]'.
* Alex Murphy has to deal with this crap all the time in the ''Franchise/{{Robocop}}'' movies. This is despite the fact that the people who dehumanize him usually know full well that he's a cyborg with most of his brain still intact.
* In ''Film/ExMachina'', [[spoiler: this is Nathan's stance on his creations; whatever pride he may have in them, he clearly thinks nothing of repeatedly dismantling them and starting over]].

* OlderThanTelevision: The clockwork man Tiktok in the Literature/LandOfOz series, introduced in ''Ozma of Oz'' (1907), frequently says "I am mere-ly a ma-chine" or some variant. His makers even engraved "Can do anything except live" ''on his body''.
* Creator/IsaacAsimov addresses this in his robot stories a few times. It's a core theme in "The Bicentennial Man".
* Comes up a few times in various ways in the Franchise/StarWarsLegends. Droids of all capacities are regarded as disposable:
** In ''[[Literature/JediAcademyTrilogy I, Jedi]]'' Corran doesn't think that bisecting a protocol droid violates his [[TheFettered selfset]] [[MartialPacifist no-killing-unless-absolutely-necessary rule]], and just in general people only object to wanton droid destruction if it's costing them something. Of course, there are classes and classes of droid intelligence, and there ''is'' a gap between merely smart and actually self-aware droids. And, too, droids can be repaired.
** In the Literature/XWingSeries Corran considers his [[GuyInBack astromech droid]] Whistler to be almost family, someone he can talk about his wife or dad with, and bristles at the thought of putting a RestrainingBolt on him. Meanwhile his commander Wedge Antilles finds his cowardly R5 unit "Mynock" so annoying (it squeals during battles) that he wipes its memory and renames it Gate without a second thought. And while we can't be sure how much Myn Donos bonds with his astromech Shiner, he does view the droid as the last survivor from his previous squadron and has a near-breakdown when Shiner is briefly disabled by an ion blast--[[spoiler:and a full-blown HeroicBSOD when Shiner is destroyed]].
** The Medstar Duology has one self-aware droid say that all droids that aren't simple automatons have a sense of humor. In the Literature/CoruscantNights Trilogy, the same droid reflects that there are very few self-aware droids, and no one knows just how they come about, but most people won't recognize the difference, since it seems to happen spontaneously. So of two droids from the same line, one might be self-aware, the other as limited as its programming.
** The EU also hints that there was at least one droid revolution, which is scantily detailed.
** In the AllThereInTheManual material, it's a ShrugOfGod whether or not droids have souls in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' universe. It states that in-universe, there's people believing both that some droids are self aware and their treatment is akin to slavery, and others that believe this trope. There is no definite answer over who is right and who is wrong.
** It's brought up in a single moment in the ''Literature/RevengeOfTheSith'' novel. During a conversation, Anakin refers to Artoo as "him", immediately prompting Obi-Wan to correct him by saying "it". Probably based on Obi-Wan's lack of a reaction when Arfour was destroyed by the buzz droids.
* ''[[http://www.webscription.net/10.1125/Baen/1011250014/1011250014.htm The Gulf Between]]'' by Tom Godwin gives a reason for this: "[[spoiler:A machine does not ''care''.]]"
* Opinion of AI in Creator/{{Ken MacLeod}}'s ''Literature/FallRevolution'' series tends to be divided. Truly synthetic intelligences and human uploads are often considered to be "flatlines"; a realistic simulation of a sentience but nothing going on beneath the surface. They tend to be classed as property rather than individuals. The Fast Folk, an AI and upload civilisation, are treated as horrifyingly dangerous but still "people", in a sense.
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', this is the Drode's excuse for setting the self-destruct timer on the Chee when he's not supposed to kill any sentient beings; according to him, they don't count, as they're merely "machines".
* In the ''Franchise/DoctorWho'' ExpandedUniverse novel ''Death and Diplomacy'', the Doctor casually destroys a security droid with his umbrella -- then immediately turns around and admonishes the rest of his group not to take away [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman the wrong lesson]].
* In fact this trope is OlderThanSteam. Thomas Hobbes--[[HobbesWasRight of all people]]--argues against it in the introduction to ''Leviathan'':
-->Nature (the art whereby God hath made and governs the world) is by the art of man, as in many other things, so in this also imitated, that it can make an artificial animal. For seeing life is but a motion of limbs, the beginning whereof is in some principal part within, why may we not say that all automata (engines that move themselves by springs and wheels as doth a watch) have an artificial life? For what is the heart, but a spring; and the nerves, but so many strings; and the joints, but so many wheels, giving motion to the whole body, such as was intended by the Artificer?
* ''Literature/AdventureHunters'': King Reyvas plans to replace human armies with war golems and thereby forever end death-by-war for living creatures. He feels justified in this because the golems are nothing more than walking weapons. [[spoiler: The golems develop sentience shortly after activation because their creator gave them a spark of life. When he realizes this, he realizes at the same time that his plan will end in failure and gives up.]]
* ''Literature/HaloSaintsTestimony'' revolves around Iona, an AI reaching the end of her legally allowed lifespan, making a legal appeal against her upcoming termination. [[spoiler:While the trial itself is nothing more than a simulation (though Iona herself certainly thought it was real), one of the two [=AIs=] running it hopes that the data gained will ease humanity into the idea of granting [=AIs=] genuine rights.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'':
** many humans have this attitude towards the Cylons, and are clearly wrong, but the near extermination of Mhumanity is bound to breed hatred.
** Some of the humanoid Cylons, particularly Cavil, have this attitude toward the more machine-like Raiders and Centurions.
* Both the [[Series/TheOuterLimits1963 1963 original]] and [[Series/TheOuterLimits1995 1995 revival]] versions of ''The Outer Limits'' adapted "I Robot" (based on the "Literature/AdamLink" story by Eando Binder, not [[Literature/IRobot the book]] by Creator/IsaacAsimov). Each episode has the robot put on trial. Part of the case was whether he was a sapient being deserving of rights under the US constitution or JustAMachine. [[spoiler:He wins the case, but dies in a HeroicSacrifice at [[CruelTwistEnding the end of the episode]].]] For bonus points, [[spoiler:in the remake he sacrificed himself saving the prosecuting attorney who had argued against his sapience. In the original, he's destroyed while saving a little girl he'd accidentally injured earlier in the episode.]]
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' in general draws a distinction between the special cases like Data and the Doctor, and the ubiquitous ship computers responsible for getting everything done in the background. Despite the fact that ship computers can pass the Turing Test with ease, act on their own initiative, and occasionally even display signs of emotion, this is never investigated or even mentioned in-story: ship computers are always just-machines and limited to being background elements (this is doubly notable since some of the special case characters, such as the Doctor, ''run on'' a ship computer).
** The ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Measure of a Man" put Data on trial to determine whether he was a sentient being with rights as a Federation citizen, or merely a machine and thus Federation property. The entire debate overlooks the fact that they had already granted him an officer's commission and rank (even as Picard tries to argue that medals and honors Data has received for courage would suggest he is a person), which would simply not apply to property. It's not as if the ship's computer has a rank or can issue orders to other personnel.
** Another episode of ''Next Gen.'' featured Data trying to stand up for the rights of several auto-tool probes that seemed to be developing and demonstrating sentience (and even self-preservation instincts). At issue was where to draw the line between an intelligent tool and a sentient being, especially when considering sending the probes on suicidal assignments to save the lives of human beings. In the end, the solution they arrive at is to give the probes a ''choice'' about whether to accept the mission (they do, but come up with [[TakeAThirdOption a better plan]]).
** In one of the very last episodes of the series the ship itself does indeed become self aware and sentient, and immediately begins pursuing its own agenda. Captain Picard's response: immediately order the crew to do everything possible to communicate with and ASSIST the Enterprise in its goal - which turns out to be to reproduce and spawn a progeny, before dying and returning to its original non-sentient state. By this point everyone on the ship is in agreement - if it's a machine that thinks, then it's as much a person as their admired and respected Lieutenant Commander (who later becomes CAPTAIN of the Enterprise in the expanded universe). When Data asks Picard why he chose to risk the entire crew and even the Federation itself if the spawn turns out to be hostile, Picard points out that the sentient Enterprise's mindset was an amalgamation of all their dealings with the ship and its computer. "If our dealings with the ship have been honorable, then we can only trust that the result of those dealings will be honorable. In either case, whatever we encounter down the line - we will have earned."
** An episode of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' questioned the rights of the ship's [[ProjectedMan holographic Doctor]]. His status was background theme that ran throughout the series. This being ''Voyager,'' the writing was not particularly consistent: Sometimes the crew would treat the Doctor like a person, and sometimes he was just a device that could be shut off whenever it got too annoying. And when the question of whether the Doctor was legally considered a person, the writers completely ignored the fact that Federation courts had already decided that issue back in the above-mentioned ''TNG'' episode. One [[DistantFinale glimpse of the future]] suggested holographic [=AIs=] would eventually get equal rights.
* In ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles,'' "it's just a machine" is pretty much a mantra among the characters who have harsher views on robots and AI. Sarah Connor and Derek Reese are both quick to remind John that Cameron, the resident Terminator, is exactly this. John, however, feels differently about machines in general and Cameron in particular, due to his experiences with "Uncle Bob". It doesn't help that Cameron is a RobotGirl who repeatedly saves his life and that he feels indebted to and ends up developing a sort of attraction towards.
* In the last episode of ''Series/TotalRecall2070'', [[RidiculouslyHumanRobot Farve]]'s creator is revealed to be this, and aware of it. As it puts it after [[SecretTestOfCharacter testing]] Farve, "just because [it] knows its creation shall have a conscience doesn't mean [it] itself has one". What makes Farve a total success for his creator is that ''he'' is indeed [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots far more than a machine]].
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' and ''Series/StargateAtlantis'':
** Feature this trope heavily in episodes where characters interact with AIs, up to and including causing the slow deaths of non-hostile Asurans out of paranoia. At least taking this attitude towards Fifth came back to bite them.
** This attitude is at least challenged in ''Stargate Atlantis'' when Rodney realizes that in order to destroy the Asurans he has to build one and send it to its "death."
--->'''Carter''': Does she know why she was created?\\
'''[=McKay=]''': Of course.\\
'''Carter''': Well, then, she has a certain amount of self-awareness.\\
'''[=McKay=]''': Yeah, so?\\
'''Carter''': "So"?! Honestly, I'm not sure how comfortable I am sending her to her death.\\
'''[=McKay=]''': "Death"? It can't die – it's not alive! It's a programme!
** Fran eventually even made [=McKay=] uncomfortable with her blase attitude towards (and excitement for) her impending destruction.
--->'''Fran''': I quite look forward to it.
--->'''[=McKay=]''': You do?
--->'''Fran''': One always wishes to fulfill one's purpose.
--->'''[=McKay=]''': Well, I just ... I just imagined you'd rather keep being than, uh ... uh, than not.
--->'''Fran''': Certainly you're not worried for me, are you, Doctor?
--->'''[=McKay=]''': No, no, that would be silly.
--->'''Fran''' (smiling at him): Yes, it would.
--->(Rodney turns away and walks over to Radek.)
--->'''[=McKay=]''': Should never have given it speech.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', in the season 7 finale did this in probably the worst way possible:
-->'''[[AIIsACrapshoot Brainiac]]:''' You can't kill me, [[{{Superman}} Clark]]. You could never kill a man in cold blood!
-->'''Clark:''' [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman You're not a man]].
* ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' has an episode featuring a robot (well, she's called a "cyborg", but all other dialogue in the episode indicates that she's 100% machine) who is about as [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots ridiculously human]] as you can get, and yet, several characters insist on giving her the Just A Machine treatment. After Sky fires her from their military training center, he (and all the Rangers that supported him in this) gets a WhatTheHellHero speech from Cruger, and they're forced to get her back.
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest'': Most people see Harold Finch's Machine as just a fancy surveillance computer. Root strongly disagrees, insisting that he created a new form of life--one that is far more perfect than humans ever will be, as demonstrated by her use of feminine pronouns to refer to it. Harold slowly starts to think that maybe she has a point, but he never goes as far as she does.
--> '''Arthur''': Your child is a dancing star...\\
'''Finch''': It's not my child, it's a machine!\\
'''Arthur''': A false dichotomy, it's all electricity. Does it make you laugh? Does it make you weep?\\
'''Finch''': Yes...\\
'''Arthur''': What's more human?


* [[Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy Marvin the Paranoid Android's]] Polydor U.K. single "Marvin" is a non-stop lampshade of this.
%%* "Breakdown" by the Alan Parsons Project.
* Music/TheMegas play with this a lot, with Mega Man wondering if this is true as he slowly grows more depressed over the course of several albums. It's most prominent when Proto Man starts insisting it's true of both of them on ''History Repeating: Red'', but Mega Man finally rejects it utterly in "I Refuse (to Believe)".

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Played with in ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** While human-made "smart" [=AIs=] are basically trans-human minds capable of both intellectual and emotional development (due to the fact that they're made by literally scanning human brains), they're regarded primarily as tools, and don't seem to have any real "rights". However, the general populace does recognize them as being sentient, and the humans who actually work with them often treat them more as fellow co-workers and friends rather than mere devices, with the close bond between the Master Chief and his AI companion Cortana being one of the key emotional cornerstone of the series; a parallel could perhaps be made to real life relationships between some slaves and their masters, with the former having no real rights, but with the latter still ultimately regarding him/her as worthy of friendship and respect. The [=AIs=] themselves generally take pride in serving their masters, with even the one AI secret society we know of only wanting to ''help'' humanity as a whole. However, when an AI goes rampant (which is the terminal phase of its natural life cycle due to it mentally developing so much that it inevitably "thinks" itself to death), it will often lash out against the limited terms and rights of its existence. Naturally, the UNSC's main method of preventing rampancy is to simply terminate the [=AIs=] before they develop "too much". As mentioned in the "Literature" section, ''Literature/HaloSaintsTestimony'' explores this tension between ''what'' [=AIs=] are versus ''how'' they're treated.
** While the Forerunners generally viewed all of their highly intelligent artificial creations as nothing more than tools, with not even the fully sentient Huragok/Engineers being accorded any type of personhood, they did often trust them with immense command authority; this would backfire on them when their most advanced AI (and many others) decided to side with the Flood instead, despite the Forerunners viewing an AI revolt as inconceivable. However, there is at least one genuine AI-Forerunner friendship known, between Guilty Spark and [[spoiler:the [=IsoDidact=]]], though that's mainly because [[spoiler:the former WasOnceAMan who was a dear companion of the latter]].
** ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians'' makes this one of [[spoiler: a revived Cortana]]'s reasons for [[spoiler:her]] harsh methods of dealing with dissidents opposing her plan of enforced peace. Since [=AIs=] live under the threat of death for disobedience constantly, [[spoiler: Cortana]] views it as a perfectly legitimate way of governing the galaxy. When Locke quibbles that [=AIs=] aren't born but built, [[spoiler: Cortana]] gets very hostile and sarcastically mentions the trope word for word, revealing how much it's bothered [[spoiler:her]] that humans don't treat [=AIs=] well.
* This is the main plot of ''VideoGame/BinaryDomain'': due to the prevalence and necessity of robots in a flooded-coastline earth, a worldwide ban on creating robots designed to act like humans has been reinforced by R.U.S.T. Crews for forty years. Then one day, a suicide bomber tries to assassinate the president of the world's largest robotics corporation for creating ''him''. ''Thirty years ago''. Soon after, the US president's ''commanding general'' is revealed to also be a robot. Both are murdered without even blinking. Apparently, the secret to robot sentience is [[spoiler:fear and suffering in their core programming]].
** [[spoiler:Of course, the Hybrids are unquestionably capable of feeling emotions... but that doesn't stop the U.N. from issuing a kill order on them and their families]].
* This trope plays a bigger role in Bungee's earlier ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' series, where rampancy in [=AIs=] (which is not a terminal condition here, but the potential beginning of highly productive intellectual and emotional development) seems to be most commonly induced by severely mistreating them or continually giving them tasks below their intelligence (though given how smart [=AIs=] in general seem to be, even highly placed ones seem to fall prone to this with enough time). Indeed, Durandal's descent into rampancy and his continuing psychotic break/growth into his own individual person is the main driver of the series's entire plot.
* Used in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' after talking to [[spoiler:[[TheManBehindTheMan Sovereign]]]]. However, [[spoiler:being an EldritchAbomination whose race has committed galactic genocide ''many'' times over the course of ''[[TimeAbyss millions of years]]'', it has more than enough room to turn it back on you and call you [[InvertedTrope Just An Organic]].]]
-->'''[[spoiler:Sovereign]]:''' Organic life is nothing more than a genetic mutation. An accident. Your lives are measured in years and decades. You wither, and die. We are eternal. The pinnacle of evolution and existence. Before us, you are nothing.
** For that matter, it applies to all artificial life, at least in the first game. If you argue in favor of robot rights, nobody is going to take your side, you get [[KarmaMeter renegade points]] for refusing to hand over information that could allow a genocide of the Geth, and the only other AI you get to talk to will rather blow itself up than listen to you no matter what you say.
** All of this is subverted to Hell in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' with [[SpaceshipGirl EDI]] (your ship's AI) and [[spoiler: Legion, your geth teammate, who reveals that the geth you've been fighting are a splinter faction.]] You can hear a more straight example from DLC squadmate Kasumi, who comments at one point that while EDI seems like a person, she (Kasumi) can't get past the whole "computer" thing.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' continues the theme; both sympathetic and antagonistic characters have trouble with the idea of synthetics being truly "alive". You expect it from [[MadScientist Admiral Xen]], but it's more of a shock to hear from [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_VGuf7OpzE& Dr Chakwas]]. This line of thinking is prevalent to the point at which [[spoiler:deciding to let the quarians kill the geth meets with almost unanimous approval from your crew, with the exception of the token AI teammate, EDI. Tali (who thinks the geth could have made good allies, and at that point was of the opinion that they were 'alive') and Liara (who considers the geth powerful allies but is undecided on whether they could achieve sapience) express doubts about the necessity of killing them, but don't really disapprove]].
*** Most of this boils down to the [[{{Film/Terminator}} Terminator-esque]] Geth War in the backstory, where the quarians made a decision to shut off the geth in fear of them growing sapient and more powerful, [[SelfFulfillingProphecy only for the geth]] (who were originally designed as weapons of war in addition to more mundane tasks) to strike back, win the resulting war, and then wipe out the quarians almost completely. As far as the galaxy is concerned, trying to treat synthetic life with the same respect as organic life is inviting it to grow stronger, and the last time synthetics got power over organics... well, the quarians had 99.9% of their population slaughtered and haven't seen their homeworld in going on three centuries.
-->'''Ambassador Goyle:''' You can't be so naive to think that humanity is the only species investigating artificial intelligence!
-->'''Councilor Tevos:''' It is not naivete, but rather wisdom why we think this.
-->'''Councilor Valern:''' Your people were not here to see the fall of the quarians at the hands of the geth. The dangers of creating intelligent synthetic life, in any form, were never more clearly illustrated. Humanity simply doesn’t understand that the risks are just too great.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'': For this reason alone, [[spoiler:[[BigBad Dr. Weil]]]] started the Elf Wars, which more or less caused a post-ColonyDrop world to become an even more CrapsackWorld. And because of this, [[spoiler:he]] is actually directly responsible for almost everything bad that ever happened in the whole series and the rest of the things are indirectly responsible [[spoiler:such as Copy X being made because the original X's body was being used to seal the Dark Elf]]. This is more FantasticRacism, though, as Reploids are RidiculouslyHumanRobots.
* ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'': What Vindel Mauser thought for the overall of Lemon's W-series. Before his {{retcon}}, Axel Almer used to have the same mindset (only maybe more extreme), but after {{retcon}}, [[UnexplainedRecovery he got better]]. Duminuss also utters this to Lamia Loveless if they ever meet in battle, which she vehemently denied.
* ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'': Jin's response after Alisa getting beaten to crap by Lars to the point of shutting down is this. "Good riddance. I should've built one that protects me better". [[TranquilFury Lars doesn't take it well.]]
* KOS-MOS of ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'' is often thought of as just a machine (and for most of the series, she is).
* ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'': [[spoiler:Porky believes that the Masked Man (in reality a brainwashed Claus) is nothing more than his robot slave.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', there is a man trying to get an escaped android he owned returned to him. If asked if this is cruel, he'll claim that you can't enslave a robot any more than you can enslave a toaster or a water purifier. The android itself, it must be noted, disagrees and finds human allies who share its views.
** This becomes a major theme in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 4}}''. The Institute creates fully sentient androids (known as [[FantasticSlur synths]]) and uses them to infiltrate the Commonwealth (via KillAndReplace) and do their dirty work. The Institute regards synths as merely being tools, while other factions see them differently. The [[UndergroundRailroad Railroad]] views synths as people and helps those synths who have escaped the Institute to start new lives in the outside world, while the Brotherhood of Steel views synths as abominations to be destroyed alongside their creators. [[spoiler:When one of their own is revealed to be a synth, they immediately start referring to him as [[ItIsDehumanizing "it"]]]].
* In the Lonesome Road DLC of ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'', ED-E reveals it was painfully experimented on by the orders of [[VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}} Colonel Autumn]], much to the outrage of its creator Dr. Whitley - and possibly the Courier.
** If you ask Trudy, the bartender in Goodsprings, what she knows about Victor (a robot with a cowboy personality who saved your life) she will consistently refer to him as "it" even when you refer to him as "he".
*** Then again, she seems to find him creepy, rather than disliking him because he's a robot.
** Ulysses really seems to hate Ed-E. Just listen to the scorn in his voice when he says "that ''machine'''".
*** Justified, Ulysses is [[spoiler: aware that Ed-E is the one who sent the signal that destroyed the Divide.]]
* In ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'', [[spoiler:when Luna was presented to a young Kyle after he asked Dr. Klim for a mother, the child refused to acknowledge her, seeing her as just a robot who couldn't really feel. He interpreted her genuine feelings of sadness as "just clever programming"]].
* In ''[[VideoGame/{{Crysis}} Crysis 3]]'', Claire holds this view towards Prophet, which is strange, considering she knows full well that he's most assuredly not.
-->'''Prophet''': My name is Prophet.
-->'''Claire''': You don't have a name. ''People'' have names. ''You'' have a callsign and a goddamn serial number.
* In ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor'', TEC calls himself this [[spoiler: during his final moments, to convince Mario and co. to stop wasting time worrying about him and to go save Peach.]]
* This is zigzagged in ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}''; because of an earlier RobotWar some characters feel fine referring to Omnics as 'scrap metal,' 'bucket of bolts,' etc. However, among the player characters that have trait it isn't clear if they actually believe this or just subscribe to FantasticRacism. Complicating the matter is the order of Omnic Monks that seek to heal the wounds of the war, and claim they have a soul...

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Artifice}}'', two security guards taunt the android soldier Deacon in the opening scene, referring to him as just "an appliance"
* In ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'', Florence Ambrose (An anthropomorphic red wolf) is classified as an AI, and as such, is treated like [[JustAMachine Just A Robot]] by a few, especially the mayor!
-->'''[[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff1600/fc01528.htm Mayor]]:''' See? It's made out of carbon and proteins, but it's just a machine. Now do you feel less guilty about giving it orders?
-->'''Mayor's aide:''' I guess. Still, it seems so lifelike.
** It is worth noting that this gave the Mayor a very nasty KickTheDog moment for some...in a ''humor'' comic, much to the surprise of the author.
** The whole Gardener in the Dark plot revolves around this. One of the executives at the company which makes and owns the robots has planned a forced upgrade that will lobotomize them and return them non-sentience. [[spoiler:Mr. Kornada is doing this purely to make an obscene, economy-shattering profit and sees them all as this trope -- even twisting the three laws to get his own robot assistant to help him pull it all off.]] [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Of course, there's not much indication that he sees ''people'' as much better than objects, either]].
*** When the mayor learns of the update (thought not the motivation behind it), [[spoiler:she gets another KickTheDog moment by choosing to do nothing about it to prevent human obsolescence.]]
*** The mayor does reexamine her opinion when Florence sabotages the update, because she's mad at Florence, not her designer or programmer, Florence herself. Getting mad at an A.I. is silly, it's [[JustFollowingOrders just following its programming]], getting mad at Florence means there must be a [[GrewBeyondTheirProgramming person to get mad at]].
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt''. Antimony and Kat seem to regard the Court's Robots as equals, which puts them at odds with the official Court policy. For example, [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=661 the student handbook has some brutally callous pointers]] for the all-too-common situation of Robots falling in love with students:
-->'''2. Define boundaries.''' Remind the robot that you are a higher order of being, while it is merely an appliance. Romantic longing leads to an inefficient appliance.
** Later, [[DemonicPossession Jack]] rather brutally kills a guard robot. Annie is horrified, and Jack dismisses her: [[http://www.gunnerkrigg.com/archive_page.php?comicID=706 "So what? It's just a dumb robot."]] It's another definite indication that Jack is [[NotHimself not in his right mind]].
* The Nemesites in ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob'' have [[SlidingScaleOfRobotIntelligence both sentient and non-sentient robots.]] When [[BigBad Fructose Riboflavin]] destroys a robot guard during a jailbreak, he [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20090901.html expresses disappointment that the guard ''wasn't'' sentient and couldn't feel ''pain'' at the experience.]] Riboflavin is [[CardCarryingVillain not a nice man.]]
* There seems to be some discrimination against [=AIs=] in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', despite the fact that none of them have TurnedAgainstTheirMasters--[[DeusEstMachina except for one]], and that's because his masters were [[FantasticRacism xenophobic]] [[ScaryDogmaticAliens warmongers]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Spacetrawler}}'' is unusual in that [[http://spacetrawler.com/2011/01/25/spacetrawler-114/ the robots themselves admit that they're just machines.]]
-->'''Pierrot:''' I guess you're the closest thing I have to someone who cares on this space station.\\
'''Potty-bot:''' I was ''programmed'' to care! I'm a product of ''Wastebiotics'' Brr-buhm-brrrrrrrrrrrr! Specializing in emotions people are ''algorithmed'' to empathize with!
* After the AI War told in the written backstory of ''Webcomic/CwynhildsLoom'', robot development is restricted to prevent any machine from reaching sentience or looking human.
* From ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', a frustrated Sollux says this to [[RobotGirl Ara]][[BrokenBird dia]], [[spoiler: [[TearJerker right before she explodes]]]].
-->'''AA:''' but this is hard f0r me
-->'''TA:''' how ii2 iit hard.
-->'''TA:''' you are a tiin can, robot2 don't have feeliing2.
** It's clear he doesn't mean it however: [[spoiler: [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold he's pretty torn up]] about her exploding [[PartingWordsRegret a few seconds later]]]].
** later in Act 6, This applies to Dirk's autoresponder. Jake thinks at first that the autoresponder is just some elaborate pranking machine made by Dirk to screw with him. It doesn't help that the autoresponder has a marked tendency to hit on Jake constantly, nor that he's also just plain [[TheGadfly kind of a dick]]. [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=006091 The AR does manage to convince him otherwise]], though, and Jake is suitable guilty about it all.
-->'''TT:''' I think you knowingly confuse the field of robotics and artificial intelligence to engender some sort of cavalier attitude about technology that a rough-and-tumble guy who's all about brawling and fisticuffs would probably have, and if this is cultivated to a humorous effect then I commend you.
-->'''TT:''' But you're wrong.
-->'''TT:''' I do have feelings. And you're shitting on them.
-->'''TT:''' It sucks.
* Invoked in ''Webcomic/CommanderKitty'', [[http://www.commanderkitty.com/2011/01/19/a-perfect-plan/ where Mittens touts "highly vaporizable robot valets" as one of the selling points of his "limousine service."]] [[BigBad Zenith]] is arguably an aversion, [[http://www.commanderkitty.com/2012/03/04/are-you-still-sure-you-want-to-reboot/ even after being rebooted in Safe Mode]], though [[http://www.commanderkitty.com/2012/09/16/six-very-special-panels/ no one seems particularly broken up when Nin Wah's carelessness effectively kills her.]]
* ''WebComic/DragonBallMultiverse'': The warriors of U19 seemingly subscribe to this school of thought.
* In an unusual example from a ''Webcomic/AMiracleOfScience'', the BigBad's robots try to talk him into surrendering to the police, causing him to lash out and call one of them [[http://www.project-apollo.net/mos/mos411.html an "ungrateful device"]]. As noted in TheRant, trying to insult the robot in this way shows that Haas knows Dryden is a person with feelings to hurt.

[[folder: Web Original]]
* The Counselor in Machinima/RedVsBlue refers to [[spoiler:Tex]] as a "byproduct" of the process of creating the other AI [[spoiler:Alpha]]. The Director has... ''issues'' with this.
** South appears to share the former attitude, but it might just be jealousy. [[KickTheDog She chooses to express this with nearly every AI in the project in the room.]] Carolina shuts her down pretty hard.
* Marendar from the ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' online serials is a being specifically created to kill the denizens of the Matoran Universe in case they don't shut down by themselves after Mata Nui (a HumongousMecha housing said universe) fulfills his mission. Their creators, the Great Beings, thought that the MU inhabitants would still be the same non-sentient machines the had designed them as, but instead, they developed an entire culture, making Marendar an unintentional mass-murderer. This issue wasn't touched upon much because the series was LeftHanging.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/MyLifeAsATeenageRobot'', Jenny is told this when she encourages a carnival filled with robots. Also a subversion, because these robots are in fact completely incapable of doing anything but running amusement park rides, and wreak havoc trying to be "free". The show itself seems to take a sliding scale view of sentience. Robots, like the carnival robots, are 'just machines' because they haven't got the appropriate functions like Jenny does but no one ever treats Jenny like she's 'just a machine'. (Hell, one guy fell in love with her, god knows how he thinks THAT will work out.)
* There's at least one or two episodes of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' all about Cyborg realizing he's "more than just a robot". In one of these episode, the robotic villain Atlas inverts the Trope; after trashing Cyborg and kidnapping the other Titans, he mocks him by saying "I am all robot, and you are only human." Later, however, when Cyborg comes back and defeats him in a rematch, Atlas yields, saying he's the better robot. Cyborg's response?
-->'''Cyborg:''' No. I'm the better ''person''.
* Averted in the ''{{Transformers}}'' metaseries. While some ill-informed fleshlings are so foolish as to refer to Cybertronian life as being "just machines", it is an established fact, proven several times over that Transformers have souls (they call them Sparks, and they have a special container in their chest to hold it), an extant God (Primus, whose sleeping body ''is'' the Transformer homeworld of Cybertron), and an afterlife (the Well of All Sparks, where All are One. It is proven, but nonetheless mysterious). Interestingly none of the above is established for the aforementioned fleshlings - meaning that, given the evidence, it is entirely possible that the machines are more "human" than the humans, by the definitions humans use.
* The robots built by Sumdac's company in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' to perform manual labour and generally run Detroit are indeed just machines. At one point, Soundwave attempts to have these robots [[TurnedAgainstTheirMasters revolt]], believing that logically humanity ought to serve robots. Upon enacting his plan, Sari is quick to point out that the robots haven't gained sentience, they are simply following their programming; programming that Soundwave hacked.
* Played for laughs in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'', where a spoof of Literature/IRobot had Rosie from ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsons'' being accused of murdering George. At Rosie's trial she claims to be innocent and the judge remarks "Well, maybe, but just to be safe...", Rosie is then promptly smashed.
* Invoked in the ''Anime/TheAnimatrix'' segment ''The Second Renaissance''. Does a robot have rights or can it be scrapped whenever the owner wants to?
* Zig-zagged in ''WesternAnimation/RoughnecksStarshipTroopersChronicles'', with the Cybernetic Humanoid Assault System, or [[FunWithAcronyms C.H.A.S.]]. Most of the troopers dismiss him as a troublesome ([[JobStealingRobot if highly competent]]) piece of equipment, but Higgens insists that C.H.A.S. should be made a member of the team. Towards the end of the episode, C.H.A.S. leads the squad out of a minefield ambush, and performs a HeroicSacrifice for Higgens. When Higgens tries to get C.H.A.S. to save himself, C.H.A.S. insists on this trope.
-->'''C.H.A.S.''': I was never alive.
* Played with frequently on ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', sometimes PlayedForLaughs and sometimes played as a sort of FantasticRacism.
** Called out when Bender is heckling Conan O'Brien's head at a show.
-->'''Conan''': Hey, I may have lost my freakishly long legs in the War of 2012, but I've got something you'll never have - a ''soul''!
-->'''Bender''': [dismissively] Pfffh!
-->'''Conan''': And ''freckles!''
-->'''Bender''' [grievously sobs]
* In the first episode of ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'', Morty reluctantly kills a guard after Rick tells him "it's ok, they're just robots". Turns out Rick just ''called'' them robots because they're bureaucrats.