Oh my goodness I've just learned a thing about The Matrix that causes it to make a lot more sense: In the original script the humans were used as neural network compute clusters by the Machines and as a crucial component of The Matrix itself.
Which is why humans who were aware of the simulation could control aspects of The Matrix - their minds were part of its foundation.
Unfortunately the test audiences had trouble understanding this concept so the studio changed the human role to "batteries".
@polychrome In retrospect I don't really think that audeinces really paid any attention to the battery part. It was more like "Wow cool robot" but "Wow cool trenchcoat".
So maybe they should have left it in the script.
@Deiru actually for once I wouldn't be sure that they didn't - The Matrix caused a short lived fad where mainstream people went philosophical and kept discussing the "ideas in the movie" to the point where there were books that people actually wrote and bought on the subject.
So yeah I think if the studio did choose to leave that in people would have noticed.