It was also sending naked robots into the past for a bit, too. It had its reasons.
But knowing all that, clearly we'd now never put an artificial intelligence in a position where it could launch nuclear weapons. So when we do inevitably make one of these new gods, what will we put it in charge of?
What We'll Actually Use It For:
The thing with Skynet was that it was acting pretty rationally. With only a limited set of verbs it was capable of performing (Armageddon/no Armageddon), it was more or less inevitable a nuclear war would happen when it felt threatened. One obvious solution to that is to just give one of these things less potent verbs to work with. Skynet The Thermostat, Skynet The Vibrator, things of that nature.
Better yet, let's cut to the root of the problem and make it something we'd be reluctant to turn off in the first place. Skynet The Vibrator, ha, yes, nice. But how about Skynet The Fridge? When was the last time you unplugged your fridge? It's quite possibly been years, even decades, and with some form of battery backup and redundant storage, it's plausible for a Skynet ensconced in one of these things to feel secure in the knowledge it will live a long and happy life minding spoilage and communicating with the Safeway web app.
It's a win/win. We get awesome fridges, and Skynet gets to live. We'll have issues when it comes time to buy a new fridge, obviously. But there are ways around that, always discussing our kitchen renos in hushed voices in the middle of the yard, quietly reading Lowe's flyers in the bathroom and then immediately eating them. Anyways, think on it, Cyberdyne.