Forrest Cameranesi: Geek of all Trades

(2x17) Shadow of the Foundation: Part 3, Episode 2

As the Internation rises in global economic power, the internal economies of Auei and Columbia in turn begin to weaken, losing access to the cheap labor of Asia and America that they had so depended on to prop up their wealthy upper class while simultaneously imprisoning the vast majority of their lower class. With the lives of their lower classes controlled in such a totalitarian way, their own internal productivity had long since plummeted just like the now-collapsed communist countries they once opposed, and their patriotic free upper classes had not done a day of actual work in generations.

The wealthy upper classes turn instead to automation to save them, but unlike in the Internation, the wealth produced by these automatons is not shared with all of society but only with the tiny fraction of wealthy who own them and all the natural resources they transform into the products of an advanced civilization. On top of that, the AI controlling these robots is far from the safe, human-mediated AI of the Internation's robots, and increasingly begins to displace more and more of even the free upper class of those two continents.

According to their generally pacifistic principles, the Internation does not forcibly intervene in these other countries' internal affairs until it is asked of them. There is unfortunately little that the oppressed masses can do to even formally ask, being so downtrodden by their robot overlords, but it is clear to those in the know internationally that eventually even the "leaders" of those countries will see their own doom written on the wall and ask to be saved from their own creation. And when the time comes, the Internation is well-prepared to carefully and strategically intervene, to avoid a catastrophic war between robot armies, to transform the automata now controlling those other countries into friendlier versions deferring to the humans that they were made to serve – all of them, equally. So too in time Columbia and Auei join the Internation, and to commemorate it another Starbridge is constructed near the Aueian territory of Indonesia, on the same shallow equatorial seafloor where the xian-gu was first discovered.

Next: Shadow of the Foundation: Part 3, Episode 3