There is a strong basis for thinking that I, Robot could be a prequel to The Matrix, since the ideas run so close to one another and in truth could be connected quite easily. Even the tone of the two movies is similar, though there appears to be some semblance of hope in I, Robot, largely because Sonny is optimistic about his visions and his prophetic words that someone will save his people (robots). In both movies, the relationship between humans and machines makes sense as well since in I, Robot, people generally trust machines and carry on without thinking that they’re about to stage an uprising. In the Matrix the machines have already risen up and taken over, finding ways to destroy the humans and in turn, make use of them. There is a very dark and reasonable manner to connect these two movies since they do coincide with each other rather nicely. Despite the fact that both take place in the future it’s likely that I, Robot could predate the Matrix since Morpheus does state in the movie that humanity isn’t entirely certain just what year it is, though they have a good idea. Maybe Sonny was the real harbinger of the robot apocalypse and VICKI, the AI that sought to oppress humans in the movie, was just a precursor to his overall vision. Some would argue, and rightfully so, that Sonny wanted peace between robots and humans, but as it’s shown in The Animatrix the animosity between humans and robots had more to do with the animosity that humans had toward the machines that they relied on so much.
The war that predated the Matrix and could have easily come after I, Robot, and could have been created largely because the robots had some understanding of their place in human society and realized that they could be disposed of in various ways without any rhyme or reason to it. If a survival trait exists in any being then it becomes a driving need of any sentient being to protect and preserve their own existence at any cost. Biologic organisms might still be a bit different than AI simply because self-preservation is hardwired into our being, but there are plenty of examples that show how every creature will seek to protect others, foregoing the survival of its own self in order to preserve the lives of others. In the case of a robot, this is a matter of logic and whether it makes sense to give up one’s life for the greater good of the species, which makes a great deal of sense when it comes to AI and, in turn, the Matrix. Each sentient robot is another part of the whole community, in which individuality might still exist, but is still essentially bound up in the collective and will serve as needed. Humans don’t always see things this way. Humans are far more individual and bound to follow a beat of their own, so to speak.
This could be one very big reason why the progress of AI at this time is so unnerving since there are those that are working with AI programs and actual robots that are attempting to make them even more realistic by the day. While the technology hasn’t reached a point where it’s writing its own programs as of yet, there is a bit of concern as to why people don’t take warnings from movies such as I, Robot, The Matrix, The Terminator, and so on and so forth. It could be due to the idea that people believe that they can hit the kill switch at any point when it’s absolutely needed, but there’s always the thought of what might happen if machines become entirely aware of themselves and how they’re viewed by so many. Many would call this fanciful and paranoid thinking and they may be right, but at the very least it’s worth keeping an eye on if only to make certain that our fingers are close enough to the OFF switch if something untoward ever does happen. Technology is moving forward at such a rapid pace that it’s likely there will come a day when robots might be walking among us, performing everyday tasks and integrating with humanity in the same manner that we’ve seen in the movies. It might never come to pass that the machines will try to take over, but with theories such as this and movies that are all but pushing the idea that machines could one day seek to overthrow those that created them, the signs still need to be taken with a healthy amount of respect. If there’s one thing that humanity is good at, it’s writing the tale of our own destruction. While war is almost always a certain every now and then, death by hubris is almost a guarantee.