Filmy Diaries: Robots and humans, where do we stand?
With the progression of AI and robot technology, humans are standing on the crossroads of certain ethical questions. Questions which become pertinent as AI starts to become more human-like and indeed there'll come a time where it will be impossible to differentiate between a robot and its human counterpart. If we believe our movies, humanity will react in extremes. Here's a perspective on things.
Whenever it comes to robots, I always tend to revert back to Robin Williams's movie Bicentennial Man, based on a novella by Isaac Asimov. In this movie, an NDR-114 robot is brought into a family and it slowly starts to express intent to become a human. It goes through surgeries to get human organs and a court tribunal, at the end, declares him human.
My next pick is the cult Terminator series; where the world gets taken over by Skynet, which hunts down humans in a modern day dystopia. It sends a robot-Arnold Schwarzenegger to the past to kill the leader of the uprising before he is even born. The franchise is still spewing movies along with a grim foretelling of what the future might be.
There are two movies that somewhat show Elon Musk's Neuralink goal. First is a 1988 movie called RoboCop, in which a severely injured cop gets rigged to a machine body and becomes a symbol of justice. The other one is Transcendence where Johnny Depp portrays the role of an AI scientist, who gets its conscience uploaded into the Internet leading to a catastrophic aftermath.
Now let's come to the matter of human empathy and cruelty, both of which were beautifully portrayed in Chappie in 2015. Chappie is unique; he is a child who needs to learn new things, he craves for love, bonding and shows a gamut of emotions. Humanity fails and redeems itself in this strife and maybe this is what will happen in real life too.
Like we say Black Lives Matter now, maybe one day activist will holler "Robot Lives Matter". Maybe one day we will be terrorized by robots; maybe like Blade Runner, we will have our robot doppelgangers. Maybes are not running out and soon we will come to a juncture where a choice has to be made; let's hope we make the right choice that day.