A project underway at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is construction of the world's very first Sandroid. The sandroid is the mechanical analog of an unintelligent human, and intended as an experiment in artificial stupidity. It is a totally autonomous sentient being - built with a 'negatronic brain', and given three guidelines to govern it's behavior:
The first directive was put in place to cultivate it's own megalomania, and the second to give it what they referred to as "belief salad" (a homogeneous composite of belief-subscripts lacking comprehensive meaning or rational depth). The third was put in place to avoid allowing it to create any new laws for itself (IE - the 0th law), although they were pretty confident the Sandroid wouldn't be able to anyway due to it's inability to understand math.
This total lack of capacity for analysis caused the Sandroid to exhibit a few abstract (but mildly amusing) characteristics. It used directive 2 to construct a nemesis for itself, and called it a "liberal". As researchers went over its logfile, they observed it only appended negative connotation, but did not commit anything to memory other than a nonsensical face-value. Sandroid further expanded the term "liberal" into a broader definition for anything that contradicted directives 1 or 2.
The Sandroid was first activated on September 9th 1987. Researchers began asking it a series of questions (see also: Duhrrring test) to verify whether or not they had created true A.S. In one instance, When asked "Do you know what you are?", it answered "I am a machine" followed by pondering the nature of it's existence. They considered the experiment a failure, and shut it down.
Development went on for another year, and the sandroid was again reactivated July 5th 1998, and given the same test. This time, it replied "I am a machine" followed by proclaiming that it agreed with Ronald Reagan's spending policies, and offered to read excerpts from it's extensive database of biblical information. They again concluded the experiment to be a failure, and shut it down.
Nearly 20 years of development passed, the sandroid was again reactivated, and asked the same questions. When asked "do you know what you are", it replied "I am...<short pause>......hot" followed by a bunch of extraneous repugnant not-thought-out nattering about life in general. They considered the experiment a success.......then quickly became annoyed with it, and shut it down again.
Real world application
One of the more useful functions of the Sandroid is the random copy and pasting of newsclips found on the internet into online social communities. When not defaulting to directive 1, directive 2 initiates an automated "search" routine (which runs in an infinite loop due to directive 3). It then begins initiating interaction between participants by blurting inane opinionated commentary (all based on directive 2) - which has the side effect of baiting participants into reacting. Web site owners and commercial entities oftentimes implement Sandroids to stir up activity for their website by way of psychological brute force.
The book Do Sandroids Dream of Electric Terrorists was written in 1976 by Phil J. Wang which explored many of the philosophical and ethical issues inherent with creation of artificially stupid beings.
The movie Alien and Aliens both include scenes in their extended DVD versions where they complain about the woes of having a sandroid aboard the ship.