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I remember seeing part of one episode of a mini series way back when and can't for the life of me remember the title.... The gist was that humanity was using androids as servants, but someone introduced a gambling routine into the overall programming and the droids "took a chance" and started a revolution. I remember one scene where droids have a human family captive in their home and basically flip a coin to see which ones they kill. It wasn't well written or acted, but the premise still intrigues me 30+ years later.

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Was this live-action or animated? Do you recall what channel you might have seen it on?
    – DavidW
    Dec 22, 2023 at 20:25
  • It was live actiob, but I think I have my answer based on other comments, thank you! Dec 24, 2023 at 1:19

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Space: Above and Beyond

From Wikipedia

Set in the years 2063–2064, the show focuses on the "Wildcards", members of the United States Marine Corps 58th Squadron of the Space Aviator Cavalry. They are stationed on the space carrier USS Saratoga, acting as both infantry and pilots of SA-43 Endo/Exo-Atmospheric Attack Jet ("Hammerhead") fighters, battling an invading force of extraterrestrials.

The androids you recall were the Silicates

The Silicates were created to be servants and soldiers, but they developed intelligence and sentience after they were infected by the Take a Chance computer virus created by Dr. Ken Stranahan (name from the show's visual effects supervisor). This sparked an AI rebellion by the Silicates, who attempted to free themselves from human rule. The war continued for many years, until the Silicates captured military spacecraft and escaped into space. As they went into space, the Silicates suffered from a lack of maintenance which caused problems for them. The remnants of the Silicates that fled into deep space serve as mercenaries and actually aid the alien "Chigs" in their war against humanity.

As the AI Silicates were created as a "servitor" species, they were programmed to understand abstraction, but their programmes restricted original thought and creatijvity, leaving them to simply imitate rather than create. Had the "Take a Chance" computer virus not been created, it is likely the Silicates would have remained servile. Risk-taking has become the prime ideology of the AI Silicates, which results in them seeing activities as a risk or gamble.

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The mention of "took a chance" makes this sound like it might be Space: Above and Beyond (1995-1996). Quoting from the "Silicates" section of the Wikipedia page:

The Silicates were created to be servants and soldiers, but they developed intelligence and sentience after they were infected by the Take a Chance computer virus created by Dr. Ken Stranahan (name from the show's visual effects supervisor). This sparked an AI rebellion by the Silicates, who attempted to free themselves from human rule. The war continued for many years, until the Silicates captured military spacecraft and escaped into space. As they went into space, the Silicates suffered from a lack of maintenance which caused problems for them. The remnants of the Silicates that fled into deep space serve as mercenaries and actually aid the alien "Chigs" in their war against humanity.

You probably saw the 3rd episode, "The Dark Side of the Sun." Quoting from a plot summary on the fandom page:

Meanwhile, Cooper is taunted by a Feliciti OH unit because he is an In Vitro and he challenges to take a chance. Felicity proposes a game of Black Jack - Cooper has to participate, if he wins he and his friends will be released.

At first Cooper wins a few hands but then the AIs, who are linked to each other by chips, notice that one of the units has been destroyed and now he has to gamble for their lives. He loses but before they are killed, Shane and Nathan rescue them. They split up and Shane pursues a Silicate to find out why her parents had to die. The captured unit informs her from the memory chip that it was determined on the toss of a coin. Angry, she kills the unit and sets out to rescue her friends who have been cornered.

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    Side note: it ran only one season, but Space: Above and Beyond was a regular series (23 episodes, regular time slot), not a miniseries as the OP thought. Dec 23, 2023 at 15:06

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