AI + Sci-Fi Films Leads to Safety, Dreams and Advertisements

When I read the news it often evokes associations to movies in me. Here are three of them from this morning’s AI related news:

Poster for Until the End of the World

The Center for AI Safety released a short statement signed by many scientists, business people and artists:

Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.

There are many movies where humanity becomes extinct. A lot of these dystopias involve a form of AI superseding and eliminating (the need for) humanity. However, the first that came to my mind had a different kind of end for us. In Phase IV, a 1974 horror movie, directed by Saul Bass, ants develop a collective intelligence with the aim to destroy us. As far as we know the aim of the current AIs is to help us and there is a debate whether they reached consciousness or not. Definitely not a collective one. Yet. When (not if) they do it is questionable what will be their purpose, if any.

Poster for Minority Report

The purpose of the newly released Dreamore AI is to “Bring your dreams to life with Dreamore, the app that interprets and paints your subconscious thoughts. You can choose from different dream interpreters, such as Freud and Lord Shiva.” The most memorable element of the 1991 film “Until the End of the World”, directed by Wim Wenders for me was the dangers of getting addicted to our dreams. The film contains a device that can record and replay the dreams we see while asleep. A future version of Dreamore might be capable of doing that. But is it good for us? The question is theoretical, it will happen one way or another. The real question what do we do with it?

A recurring theme of cyberpunk fiction 30 years ago was the ever-growing presence of personalized advertisements that violently invades the space we still consider private. So, when I read that “The world’s biggest ad agency is going all in on AI with Nvidia’s help” (CNN) and the goal is to use generative AI for creating personalized, scalable ads a movie based on a Philip K. Dick short story popped in my mind. “Minority Report“, from 2002,–directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, and Samantha Morton–has a scene in it, see below, which is exactly where this technology is heading.

This post is just a glimpse into the many ways AI is and will transform all aspects our lives: safety, dreams and privacy included. Many more coming.

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