As this book, its artwork, and the resulting movie skillfully portray, machines, whether intelligent or not, can rust and require lubrication, they can find it hard to function in wet or wind-blown sandy environments, and above all, they must obey the laws of physics. As such machines constructed out of electronic components would be highly susceptible to electromagnetic pulses emitted from nuclear explosions. A collection of intelligent machines, configured with sophisticated electronics, would therefore not act in concert to launch a global nuclear strike against human populations, realizing that this would create more havoc to themselves, instead of their (imagined) enemy. But Hollywood has gotten so used to exploiting our nuclear anxieties over the last several decades that it resists deploying a new formula for entertainment.
The book overviews the brilliant techniques used to bring about what should be called the fourth in a series of Terminator movies, these movies having a major impact not only on general audiences but on research and commercial use of artificial intelligence (but usually not acknowledged). This latest installment of the Terminator is the most realistic one in that it emphasizes the practical constraints the both human and machine would have to face if they are to make war on each other. The availability of energy will be of major importance to both, and the eventual victor will be one who decimates the other's power supplies and sources.
Humans that fight wars are always ordered to do so by those who do not, and it takes strong characters to effectively wage them. The choice of actors and their uniforms emphasizes this strength, and it does so convincingly without making them appear pompous or arrogant. The machines are also portrayed as somewhat more vulnerable than they were in previous movies. Typically rusty and dirty in appearance, they represent the "first generation" of machines that Skynet has constructed to be used against humans. Like all intelligent entities, Skynet cannot be automatically omniscient, and must be subjected to a learning curve in anything that it does.
The demonic appearance of the bi-pedal humanoid-like robots exemplifies to great effect the horror that would be experienced when confronting machines in actual battle. To be effective in war, the machines would have to dominate the air, land, and water. The movie creators realized this and they incorporated not only flying machines, the famous "hunter-killers" or "HK's" appearing in previous movies, but also some new machines that are worm-like in appearance and that inhabit creeks and other waterways.
There is no doubt that facing these types of machines in battle would be a terrifying experience. The movie's creators saw to it that terror should be the predominant emotion for the audience. This fear of intelligent machines has leaked into all areas of contemporary culture, despite artificial intelligence being pervasive in the same. It is easy to imagine a scenario where a close approximation to the events of this movie is realized. Cognitive networks, automated manufacturing, and autonomous weapons systems are just a few of the currently available technologies that could make it so.