WEEK 10- Rise of the Machines

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Last week, we talked about the Internet of Things (IoT) in class and I have always been interested in the future of technology, especially with the influence of sci-fi films like Minority Report and the Terminator franchise which almost always tops box office with its new series. (Ok I may be a little biased here.) For those of you who haven’t watched any of the Terminator franchise, you are really missing out. I would recommend everyone to at least watch Terminator 2: Judgement day, and decide if you love it or not.

However, since we talked about the IoT last lesson, I thought the third franchise, Terminator 3: Rise of The Machines would be more appropriate to introduce in this blog post. Check out the trailer below!

Just like what we covered in class, IoT is “Things having identities and virtual personalities operating in smart spaces using intelligent interfaces to connect and communicate within social, environmental, and user contexts”.

Rarely depicted visually in any of the Terminator series, Skynet gained self-awareness after it had spread into millions of computer servers all across the world; realizing the extent of its abilities, its creators tried to deactivate it. In the interest of self-preservation, Skynet concluded that all of humanity would attempt to destroy it and impede its capability in safeguarding the world. Its operations are almost exclusively performed by servers, mobile devices, drones, military satellites, war-machines, androids and cyborgs (usually a Terminator), and other computer systems. This potentially means that Skynet is able to infiltrate into any device that has access to a network, and take control over it.

As a programming directive, Skynet’s manifestation is that of an overarching, global, artificial intelligence hierarchy (AI takeover), which seeks to exterminate the human race in order to fulfil the mandates of its original coding.

Essentially, Skynet is a highly advanced artificial intelligence which saw humanity as a threat to its existence after gaining self-awareness and decided to trigger the nuclear holocaust Judgment Day and deploy an army of Terminators against humanity.

Even though we talked about the benefits of the IoT in class, I decided to post something that leaned on the darker side of technological advancements. This film suggests the danger of AI and the IoT and seem to be warning people against such advancements in technology. Indeed, just like what Moore’s law suggests, computers, machines that run on computers, and computing power will all become smaller and faster with time, and will experience an exponential growth every year.

This may sound like good news to many computer manufacturers or to the IT industry in general, but all may not be good news in time to come. Just like what the Terminator franchise suggest, people could generate systems and make things beyond their control, posing threat to humanity and realising it only after the harm has been made. Ultimately, it is up to us humans to know our limits and make the ethical decision when designing these systems. Hopefully, all these futuristic sci-fi films can help us see the potential danger in technology and aid us in making the world a better place without compromising our humanity in any way.