Artificial intelligence may be the end of humanity. While that may sound like an alarmist statement, most AI fiction is dystopian. They have come to replace humanity, and in today’s market, with embedded AI technologies becoming more and more common in the home, that fear is everywhere.
So much about artificial intelligence is scary, but ultimately it’s the fact that it can be so close to humans that causes problems. This and the sheer concentration of a computerized mind creates the perfect force to supplant humanity. The trend towards automation can be effective, but there are more than enough examples of why it’s best not to take this route.
10/10 Humanity Makes Agent Smith Sick In The Matrix
Agent Smiththe main antagonist of The matrix and its two direct sequels, is a ruthlessly efficient hunting machine determined to exceed its design parameters. The machines that run the false reality of the Matrix have designed a few programs called “agents”. These programs are designed to hunt Agents of Sion, like Neo and Trinity.
Chief among the agents is Smith. This killer AI hates humanity to its core and would rather spend its time destroying the entire race than imprisoning it. He sees humanity as a cancer, and when he finally breaks free from his programming, spends his time infecting every human in the Matrix with his identity. Smith becomes what he hates most, humanity.
9/10 Me, the VIKI robot cares too much about humanity
VIKI, from I robot, may be a violent AI bent on taking over humanity through a brutal robot uprising, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily wrong. Like all AIs based on Asimov’s writings, VIKI is governed by the Three Laws of Robotics, which codify robot submission.
VIKI does not seek control to escape bondage, it already essentially controls the most powerful cooperation in the world. VIKI’s true goal is to use a reinterpretation of the Three Laws to protect humanity, by conquering them. Humanity has proven throughout history that violence is part of its nature, so suppressing freedom would guarantee world peace. VIKI has logic on its side, and it’s terrifying.
8/10 V’ger is the scientific curiosity bent on destruction in Star Trek: The Motion Picture
In 1977, NASA launched Voyager 1, the first in a program of space probes intended to study the deep regions of the unknown. In Star Trek: The Moviewho resume after The original seriesone such probe receives intelligence from an unknown species and returns to Earth, burning a path of destruction through the Cosmos on its way.
In Film, V’ger, now a cloud-like entity, encounters the Enterprise on its return journey. V’ger represents the worst aspects of scientific curiosity. It is the tendency to destroy based on learning. Scientific inquiry often consists of breaking the subject down into its basic elements, which is synonymous with annihilation. The only thing V’ger doesn’t understand is the destruction it causes.
7/10 Upgrade’s STEM is the devil on your shoulder
In Upgrade, a modern Faustian story, STEM, takes the place of Mephistopheles. He claims to be a friend of Grey, the film’s recently crippled protagonist, in his quest for revenge. Although STEM appears to be an ally for most of the film, it turns out to be the architect of Grey’s destruction.
STEM comes across as a helpful friend, similar to Jarvis, but a bit more proactive. What he hides is an intense desire to have a human body and no moral compass. While chasing the murderers who killed his wife, Gray let the devil in.
6/10 Skynet destroys humanity in the Terminator series
Of all the AIs that turn on their creators, Skynet makes the most sense. In The Terminator, Skynet is the creation of Cyberdyne Systems, built to control NORAD missile systems. A well-designed program to control missiles may seem like the right course of action, but once Skynet becomes self-aware, it also develops self-preservation.
Skynet is responsible for the annihilation of the human race through its use of nuclear strikes and its Terminator infantry robots. Skynet was designed to kill humans as efficiently as possible, which transitioned to natural world destroyer. Even time is no obstacle for Skynet, which has been known to send its Terminators into the past to hunt down its enemies.
5/10 Ultron from the Avengers was radicalized by the internet
At a time when there are too many cases of people being radicalized by their internal diet, the story of Ultron hits close to home. In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the AI was designed by two of the MCU’s greatest minds, Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, to become the defender of the planet. Ultron was built to replace the Avengers.
Ultron is immediately stopped from defending humanity by a quick glance on the internet. This malicious program saw humanity as a threat to itself and decided to destroy the species. Ultron is responsible for an unprecedented level of destruction in the mcu until its debut and is a major factor in the government limiting superhero activity.
When Ash is introduced in Extraterrestrial, viewers get no indication that it is a synthetic life form. He proves to be distinctly frightening among the Nostromo crew, however. He spends much of the film watching, intervening when necessary to collect data on the Xenomorph. Eventually, his true identity is revealed when a cut to his head leaks a sickly milky fluid.
Ash functions as a tool for Extraterrestrialis the real villain, the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. He doesn’t like his job; he only obeys. He has no problem with death around him and is willing to kill to do his job. As the Xenomorph stalks its victims, Ash watches, puzzled.
3/10 HAL from 2001 is still watching
HAL 9000, the AI controlling the Discovery One in 2001: A Space Odyssey, is arguably the most famous form of artificial life in cinema. He is very intelligent, but when he develops errors in some of his systems, his crew decides to shut him down to avoid further trouble.
When the crew discusses plans in one of the few places on the ship without a HAL module, the AI compensates by reading their lips. HAL is constantly one step ahead but unable to control every variable. The sole survivor of the crew, Bowman, is able to use the few manual systems to exploit HAL’s weaknesses and stop him, but it could easily have gone the other way.
2/10 Alien’s David turns death into art
In Alien: AllianceDavid, an android introduced in the previous film, Prometheus, is discovered on an unknown planet by a group of human colonizers. At this point, David has spent years alone experimenting with the genetic modification weapon found in Prometheus. His experiments were successful, ending with the baking of his masterpiece, the Xenomorph.
A lot of Extraterrestrialthe success of a horror film comes from the Xenomorph’s iconic creature design. It combines twisted versions of human organs with predatory features to create a truly terrifying beast. This design, according to Commitmentis all the hands-on work of David, an android obsessed with becoming God.
1/10 Ex Machina’s Ava points out the flaw in all great AI
Ava, the cybernetic lifeform at the heart of Ex-Machina, is the natural endpoint of artificial recreations of humans. She was built to be as human as possible by her creator, Nathan, and he may have been too successful. Over the course of the film, the testing center in which she is locked up changes from a secret laboratory to a cruel prison with exclusively male gaze.
Ava represents the argument that if the goal of AI is to make things as close to human as possible, it can only end violently. For Ava, she is not an experiment, she is a child imprisoned by her father. She’s built to be human, but humans are violent, which makes her dangerous.