Thought-provoking questions about the Future of Technology raised by Movies

In the distant future, the interactions between human and computer may be vastly different than it is now. With the emergence of technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and cloud computing, the world will not be the same again. In this article, the term AI is an artistic representation of AI, which is to say they are conscious and ever learning as humans. The following are some movies that portray the future and trigger the brain to raise questions about future technology.

Movies such as Her, Blade Runner, and the episode ‘San Junipero of the TV series Black Mirror have tried to imagine the future artistically and show a representation of how the story of humans and tech may turn out to be. They each have their own version of the future, ranging from optimistic and joyous to dark and gritty. These are all fictitious stories, and the future may not be the one portrayed in these stories.

In the movie Her, the protagonist falls in love with an AI and vice versa. They do not have a conventional relationship and thus face many problems. This idea of interconnection between AI and human is of noble emergence in itself and raises many questions. Is AI even capable of growing human emotions? Will they ever do in the future? Can we actually program emotions into lines of code?

The movie Blade Runner has many thought-provoking ideas as well. In the movie, the protagonist and his significant other are not human. They also share the feeling that their relationship is not the same as a normal human relationship. In the future, we may have to consider AI rights and to what level do these rights come to. Are AI rights equal to human rights? Do they have the right to love or reproduce? Or do they have the fundamental right to exist like humans?

San Junipero’ deals with a technology that allows the human mind to be uploaded to a cloud where people can choose to be in. The people in the cloud do not have a body due to various reasons such as diseases or disabilities, and the only physical space they occupy is a storage device. Now, with this technology, the difference between an AI and a human is blurred even further. Both of them do not have physical bodies and exist only electronically. Are they human anymore? Do they retain the rights they had as humans?

I do not know the answers to these questions, only time will tell if these works of fiction become a reality or not. Regardless, these are important questions people have to ask while developing technology if they are to be anywhere close to these works of fiction.

Ayush Bajracharya,
CS II/I,
Kathmandu University

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