Science fiction has primed us for this moment when artificial intelligence starts to take on a life of its own. ChatGPT has baffled and surprised even computer scientists in terms of how it works. Now a lot of us are asking, “Which movie are we in?” Is ChatGPT going to be a benign intelligence like Samantha from Her, dangerously neurotic and emotionally unstable like HAL from 2001, or a malevolent force like Skynet from The Terminator series? I talk with Erik Sofge, senior editor at MIT Horizon, about whether any of these scenarios are accurate, or if sci-fi is distracting us from seeing the problems that A.I. could create in our daily lives. We also revisit my 2016 episode The Robot Uprising, where I looked at how our feelings about A.I. and robots are influenced not just by sci-fi but also unresolved historical guilt.
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