About that future: Zero Moment isn’t an open mic for stale jokes about robot uprisings, or a roll call of machines gawked at for their sideshow creep factor. Robotics is the rare research field defined by science fiction writers before it even existed. It was Isaac Asimov, after all, who first coined the term, and whose famous Laws of Robotics continue to be referenced by geeks and researchers alike as established axioms, despite the fact that they’re intentionally hobbled, a narrative device expertly designed to foster dramatic conflicts. And that sense of doom, whether through simple glitch, or manifest inorganic destiny, persists. SF named and predicted the machines now proliferating throughout our world, but it also cursed them, mythologizing the merciless, calculating robot so deeply that even the best journalists can’t resist a chortling reference to Skynet, even when covering an automated vacuum too stupid to navigate a room with head-butting every wall.