back to article I love you. I will kill you! I want to make love to you: The evolution of AI in pop culture

Stephen Hawking is scared. "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," Hawking has said. With the creeping integration of soft AI into our lives in the form of Siri and personalized ads on social media, these computational mini-minds serve as a constant reminder that the evolution …


  1. Cranky_Yank

    IBM loved 2001

    I was working at, not for, IBM when 2001 A Space Odyssey came out. Every other day, an IBM employee would sidle up to me and whisper, "H is one letter before I, A is one letter before B, and L is one letter before M. Get it?".

    1. Graham Marsden

      @Cranky_Yank - Re: IBM loved 2001

      Clarke debunked that story personally in his book The Lost Worlds of 2001.

      HAL stands for "Heuristically-programed ALgorithmic" computer. He also mentioned that they'd had a fair bit of help from IBM in the making of the film, so it's unlikely they'd be taking digs at them.

      1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

        Re: @Cranky_Yank - IBM loved 2001

        Yes, Clarke said thad. In a way that makes me doubt it. 'Heuristically-programed ALgorithmic computer'? Come on. That' be HPA, HPAC or HPC. And IBM helping doesn't mean he couldn't make fun of them.

      2. Tail Up

        Re: @Cranky_Yank - IBM loved 2001

        Heretically programmed :-)

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: @Cranky_Yank - IBM loved 2001

          >Come on. That' be HPA, HPAC or HPC

          None of which lend themselves to single-syllable pronunciation.

          Clarke and Kubrick were writing a movie. That we all know of HAL is good evidence that they did their jobs well.

          "Open the pod bay doors, Aitch-pee-ai-see" would detract from the drama.

          1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

            Re: @Cranky_Yank - IBM loved 2001

            I would have gone with "Open the fucking pod bay doors you positronic motherfucker!!!" but then again I'm not a screen writer. (Not to mention what you were allowed to say on screen in the 1960ies. Hey, Tarantino should do e remake of 2001.)

            Anyway, I came here to pledge that I will call my IT-startup* "JCN - One Step Beyond". Cue Madness...

            *BTW: any VCs around? Please start sending me money. It's just an idea right now, but with a couple of millions I can turn it into a concept. Can't disclose any details yet, but it's going to be bigger than Facebook and Google, promise!

  2. Florida1920

    Spoiler alert if you haven't seen 2001: A Space Odyssey

    Does such a Reg reader exist? Ditto for "Blade Runner."

    1. YetAnotherLocksmith Bronze badge

      Re: Spoiler alert if you haven't seen 2001: A Space Odyssey

      I was waiting for:

      "Neo & Trinity die (warning: spoilers above)"

  3. Bruce Ordway

    artificail dumbness

    I often wonder about the threat from the artificially unintelligent.

    I've seen a articles on runaway bots and IoT blunders, no SciFi stories I can think of.

    Maybe AI will get us someday, I am just thankful for all those great stories.

    On an unrelated note....I recently read that a TV series based on the Foundation Trilogy for HBO is in the works. I am so happy it's finally happening and that it will be a series instead of a film.

    1. Tail Up
      Thumb Up

      Re: artificail dumbness , and nothing's gonna hurt you.

  4. Stevie Silver badge


    Trying to answer the question "Is Deckard an android?" is pointless, as the Director-approved answer ("yes, of course") leaves us with a vanilla boring story, completely wasting the wonderful hints that Rutger Hauer in particular gave us to go on.

    Consider: If Deckard is an android, he and Rebecca are just two machines making the beast with two backs. If not, he has all sorts of issues, not the least that he is a child molester (Rachel is six years old).

    And the machines he is "retiring" are children, as can be seen occasionally when the actors let it bleed through. The scene when Roy Batty berates Leon is a case in point, when the conversation and facial expressions suddenly take a turn into the childlike, and the Deckard vs Batty sequences are full of occasional kid-level mischevious looks on the part of Batty. And of course, there's the wonderful performance between Pris and Batty in J.F. Sebastian's apartment.

    But if Deckard is a machine too, he lacks the empathy for that to have any personal import and there's no point of inner turmoil.

    I could go on, but all you have to do is watch and the actors show you a much richer set of possibilities than the internet Android-Or-Not combatants.

  5. TRT Silver badge

    Other AI robot shockers

    Saturn 3. If you can stand Kirk Douglas's bare arse on screen every ten minutes.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Other AI robot shockers

      Short Circuit :

      1. YetAnotherLocksmith Bronze badge

        Re: Other AI robot shockers

        Building on the foundation above, I see what you did there.

  6. Martin Budden Bronze badge


    There is a good telly series called Humans. Watch it if you haven't already.

  7. weegie38

    " I’m glad Blade Runner was given appropriately reverential treatment by Ridley Scott. "

    Eh? Much of Blade Runner's strength lies in the fact that it ISN'T "reverential" of Dick's novella. Scott took what would work best in a movie, and ditched stuff like Mercerism and the joy of owning a robot sheep. For which we should be grateful IMO: a reverential adaptation of DADoES would have been a bit naff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bladerunner vs DADoES - spoilers etc

      From memory (I only read it once a long time ago) DADoES main theme is empathy. All the humans have empathy as a religious requirement, which is why they are meant to keep pets (although real animals are expensive, so they have android ones and hide the fact from their neighbours). The Replicants do not have empathy, so can be detected by tests.

      In Blade Runner the Replicants are empathetic to each other and at the end Roy saves Decker, because he empathises with him. So Blade Runner is all about empathy too, it's just that its premise is the Androids/Repliants can empathise, given enough "life" experience.

      All the other stuff about whether or not Decker is a replicant is kind of irrelevant as far as I can see,

  8. PapaD

    Emergent property

    I honestly believe that humanity will not intentionally create an AI, but rather that artificial intelligence will develop as an emergent property of something else we create

    Like the internet - though, we'll end up with an AI heavily knowledgeable about human sexuality and pets.

  9. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Looking at Internetworking Things from A.N.Other Angle and AIMining for Two Birds...

    ... with AISMARTRStone's Throw

    Rather than worrying about building armies of smarter machines, why not simply reprogram new and born again try again humans to accept themselves as smarter machines programmed to survive and prosper and deliver future universal content ...... with SMARTR Intellectual Property Rights and Privileges Restored.

    You might, and therefore will be pleasantly surprised at how much simpler and more effective that fundamental change of processing works.

    Nevertheless, we question whether the “going dark” metaphor accurately describes the state of affairs. Are we really headed to a future in which our ability to effectively surveil criminals and bad actors is impossible? We think not. …..

    Hmmm. Others would be thinking it is probably already long so at elite elevated levels.

    And/But what of the influencing/reprogramming of criminals and bad actors …. and those and that which Hopefully Be Confused, rather than Hopelessly Helplessly Lost, whilst being surveilled/spied upon/virtual walkabout.

  10. nilfs2

    There are robots killing people already

    They are called drones

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: There are robots killing people already

      There are robots Roberts killing people already...

      There. FTFY.

  11. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    A drone is just as much of a robot as a computerized artillery cannon that lobs a grenade over, say, 30 km to it's target. In other words: not at all. Controlled by humans all the way, just remote. Heck, a Roomba is more of a robot than a drone right now.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Picture at some point in the near future, sentient self aware androids assisting then replacing the aging workforce as well as acting as carers, surrogate "children" for the childless etc.

    It is entirely possible that humans may die out because the machines do their job too well, leaving the risk, expense and inconvenience of biological reproduction behind.

    We are already seeing people choosing between having children and a career, some may eventually dispense with the former entirely in favor of one or more artificial life-forms with their shared experiences, memories and the capability to both mechanically replicate and self improve.

    Its just possible, also a particularly virulent virus may wipe out the already reduced number of humans before anything can be done but the expected disruption of society would be more of a short term inconvenience to the Machines in much the same way as we regret the extinction of other species such as the dodo and passenger pigeon.

  13. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    AI uprising

    Could be worse,

    Someone might release on purpose an AI virus that takes over laptops and desktops with susceptible DDR3L "Cortexiphan" (tm) memory and causes a worldwide meltdown just to prove their 1337 hax0ring skillz.

    AC, because he doesn't want the machines to find out that he ratted out their plans for world domination..

  14. Brian Allan

    AI should be considered a serious threat to humanity since it WILL ultimately replace biological homo sapiens. Our next step in evolution is homo machinicus and is our ultimate destiny!

  15. bdefrogg

    Colossus: The Forbin Project

    And there is the pre-Skynet 1970's "Colossus: The Forbin Project" AI that finds its Soviet counterpart and together control all the nukes. And as noted from Wikipedia: Guardian/Colossus informs Forbin that "freedom is just an illusion" and that "In time you will come to regard me not only with respect and awe, but with love". Forbin angrily replies, "Never!"


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