Stephen Hawking warned us about the finale of “Westworld” two years ago
To the surprise of absolutely no one, Stephen Hawking could’ve saved Westworld from being consumed by its own technology. Humans seem to find the idea of artificial intelligence totally fascinating, and have done for as long as its been a concept. But as Stephen Hawking pointed out in an interview two years ago, the end of Westworld was inevitable.
As far as he’s concerned, artificial intelligence has its applications and is useful in its current state, but developing it to the point where it’s true AI (i.e., Dolores reaching the center of the maze) would mean basically rendering human beings irrelevant.
Prophetic of the Westworld finale, Professor Hawking said, “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”
…Which is pretty much what seems to be happening at the end of Westworld. Maybe not the end of the human race (yet), but perhaps an end to all the humans inside the park. Usually in shows or movies or books about artificial intelligence, while we definitely have sympathy for the AIs struggling to find their independence and place in the world, we’re usually on the side of the humans by virtue of (most of us) being them. But Westworld is relatively unique in that — dunno about you guys — we’re definitely #TeamDolores.
Despite the fact that AI could mean the end of life as we know it, Professor Hawking is optimistic about the outcome of AI reaching its full potential.
"I believe we will remain in charge of the technology for a decently long time and the potential of it to solve many of the world problems will be realised [sic]...We cannot quite know what will happen if a machine exceeds our own intelligence, so we can't know if we'll be infinitely helped by it, or ignored by it and sidelined, or conceivably destroyed by it."
We wonder if Westworld will take such an optimistic stance.