The favorite HBO show Westworld has helped bring artificial intelligence into the mainstream. On the show, human-like robots welcome guests to a Wild West-inspired amusement park.
yet Westworld is usually more than just entertainment. This specific raises problems of which society will have to face head-on as technology gets more powerful. Here are a couple of the biggest.
1. Can we treat robots with respect?
Westworld raises a moral question — at what point do we have to treat machines in a responsible manner? We’re used to dropping our smartphones on the ground without remorse in addition to also also throwing our broken gadgets inside the trash. We may have to think differently as machines show more human traits.
“Westworld isn’t some campy sci-fi show, This specific seems real enough of which you can talk about This specific with your parents or people who aren’t in tech, in addition to also also have a serious discussion as opposed to being like ‘oh shiny robots’ [in addition to also also] just joke about them,” said University of Maryland computer science professor John Dickerson.
Related: HBO pressed on violence on Westworld
He highlighted the characters William in addition to also also the Man in Black. There’s a favorite fan theory of which the show is usually unfolding at two different times, in addition to also also the Man in Black is usually an older, jaded variation of William. When William first arrives at the park, he treats the machines with great care in addition to also also develops emotional ties with them. yet as time passes, he begins to do horrible things to the robots.
“This specific’s a genuinely cool way to introduce things like, how is usually interacting which has a host or Android over time going to affect you as a human,” Dickerson said.
He pointed to the long-running debates over the impact of violent video games in addition to also also movies on people. Technologies of which loom inside the future, like those depicted in Westworld, only heighten these concerns.
“We need to think hard about some of these issues,” he said. “Even if you can destroy This specific thing, in addition to also also you’re not having any cost to human life or anything like of which, This specific’s going to have some effect on the greater society in addition to also also you.”
2. How many of us will still have jobs?
For Maryland computer science professor Hal Daume III, the most obvious question about artificial intelligence is usually the future of work. With the technology the show presents, a huge number of things we calls jobs could be automated in addition to also also handled by machines. yet Westworld hasn’t addressed what life is usually like inside the outside world. Do people have jobs in addition to also also meaningful lives?
Related: Obama warns of the danger of AI wiping out jobs
“If the outside world were This specific utopia, like a Star Trek utopia, then This specific’s not clear there’d be a huge market for hanging out inside the Wild West in addition to also also basically being horrible,” Daume said.
This specific sounds like we might just have a promising storyline for season 2.