I don't have much details about it. It is an old comic where an AI goes rogue, and seeks for ways to wipe out humanity. In its research, it finds out that statistically, Humanity won more wars with spears and swords than anything else, so uses that weaponry against our modern equipment, and loses in the end.

Can anyone find this story ?

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    sort of intriguing. even though it probably does not make sense, you could see some game-theory approach that results in this kind of strategy -- like maybe it induces the other side to also use such weaponry because both parties lose fewer soldiers but the first side is more skillful with swords, having trained longer. War has all sorts of counterintuitive ideas, like MAD or deliberately not telling your own navy that decrypts show ships will be attacked but acting on it will tell the enemy we have broken their code.
    – releseabe
    Jul 4, 2023 at 18:11
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    It's probably a problem with statistical context. Spears existed since beginning of time (a sharp stick). Swords needed basic metallurgy, but still thousands of years. Guns is couple hundred years at best. Simple logic would mean that we'll need to keep having wars for the next 2 to 3 THOUSAND years before we'll offset the # of victories with spears and swords.
    – Nelson
    Jul 5, 2023 at 3:33

1 Answer 1


To my understanding, it's the strip Rise of the Machines from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, by Zach Weinersmith. Reportedly, it was "Posted October 2, 2018 at 11:08 am". Due to the nature of that webcomic, it isn't quite a story, but a single, standalone comedic strip.

Added: As for the content of the strip, there isn't much more than the exposition of what you said. Here is a description/transcription.

A man and a woman dressed as guerrilla fighters stand atop a pile of damaged robots.

He:- That was surprisingly easy. How come the robotic uprising used spears and rocks instead of missiles and lasers?

She:- If you look at historical data, the vast majority of battle-winners used pre-modern weaponry.

Narrator:- Thanks to machine-learning algorithms, the robot apocalypse was short-lived.

Bonus panel: A robot says:- So many generals conduct land-wars in Asia. Must be a good move.


  • @fez It was not my intention to share an image of the comic (as it isn't necessarily mine to share). Why did you do it, when the link was freely accessible?
    – Gae. S.
    Jul 4, 2023 at 19:55
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    You're more than free to roll-back my edit (I was on the fence about including a direct link myself) - that being said link only answers tend to go stale, and so my intention was including the image as a back up. I won't touch your answer further, but I would suggest perhaps transcribing the image so there's at least some sort of proof that the comic is indeed about what you say is
    – fez
    Jul 4, 2023 at 20:02
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    @fez Fair enough, maybe I got a bit snappy, sorry about that. Done.
    – Gae. S.
    Jul 4, 2023 at 20:17
  • Thank you very much, that was it ! I had the (flawed) memory of a full-fledged story, but in the end it was SMBC. Thanks again ! Jul 6, 2023 at 5:56
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    The final version of this answer is the one of 2023-07-05 10:21:46Z . No edit has my consent and I will roll it back as soon as I have the time to do so.
    – Gae. S.
    Jul 6, 2023 at 7:52

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