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Articles: The Real Skynet

Human vs. MachineWhen the first Terminator movie came out, I was a sophomore in high school. I thought that film was the greatest thing since Star Wars. I was completely in love with Kyle Reese, and Michael Biehn has held a special place in my heart because of that role ever since. Unlike most sequels (with the exception of Aliens and The Empire Strikes Back), Terminator 2 was as good, if not better, than the first.

The term "Skynet" was forever embedded in the English language, and it was a word that signified the end of humanity as we know it. It was the engine behind the war machine of the machines. It was how computers, literally AI (Artificial Intelligence), took over the world and came close to annihilating the human race.

Thirty years after Reese was sent back to save Sarah Connor's unborn son, the savior of humanity, much has been produced in the way of Artificial Intelligence. From the creepily horrific concept behind the film called Artificial Intelligence to the more recent foray into the dangers of AI in the brilliant and terrifying film Ex Machina, AI continues to play a huge role in Science Fiction, but it also has crossed into Science Reality (even weaponry).

Skynet is real.

Genius physicist Stephen Hawking has used a form of AI for years to facilitate his communication. This machine has learned how he thinks and what he's likely to say next.

Siri, in the palm of everyone's hand who owns an iPhone 4s or above, is a form of AI. She can answer questions, often quite humorously or warmly (ask Siri for the answer to "What is 0 divided by 0?" for a humorous answer, and tell her you don't have any friends for a warm one). Similarly, Apple's QuickType suggests words you're most likely to text next in iMessage.

AI WomanOf course, you say, but those are still programmed responses, even if it's "learning" how you speak and what you're likely to say next.

Then riddle me this, Batman: Google has just released its very own version of AI. She's a woman (in tech!), and she had a real conversation. This is the future. Skynet is real!

Stephen Hawking, a brilliant man who benefits from AI every day, says, "the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race." He is arguably the smartest person alive, but those corporate giants developing AI don't see danger; they see dollar signs.

They obviously haven't seen The Terminator.

On a lighter note, when I was interviewing for this position at PowerMax, the CEO told me when they developed their original ERP software to track customers, sales, and inventory–in fact, just about every aspect of the business–they had a company-wide competition as to what to call it. The winner ended up being, you guessed it:

(Since I was a geekalicous product of the 80s, I said it with him, in stereo)


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