Technological risk was born in 1945, when a group of geniuses of the time invented the atomic bomb, some of whom where also responsible for pioneering cybernetics, artificial intelligence, and computer science, which are dominating and threatening us today.
Scientists of all horizons, researchers, journalists, experts, investors, activists, all agree that technology in its actual development poses - even on the short term - an existential threat to the human species. Very often, the cultural reference to talk about this issue is : « The Terminator »...
William Wisher, co-writer of the movie with Cameron in 1984, confessed in a recent interview having found inspiration in the work of US advanced defense agency DARPA.
30 years after the movie, Google, has acquired the infamous DARPA's robots, just as a campaign against « killer robots », launched by Prof. Noël Sharkey, is initiating a debate at the U.N., sollicitating a (pre-emptive) ban on them.
From Reagan to Schwarzenegger, both actors turned governors, fusion between entertainment and politics has long been a fully integrated reality in California.
said Barack Obama during a meeting at DreamWorks headquarters (one of the biggest donors in the last presidential campaign).
So when Wikileaks publishes secret diplomatics cables,
it is for Dreamworks to produce The Fifth Estate, a thriller based on controversial accounts.
Meanwhile, Julian Assange is not discontent with his own character in The Simpsons :
Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, who now spends his life inside a tele-presence robot,
has inspired a book, which adaptation rights have immediately been bought by James Bond producers.
During the 50's and 60's cold war, the CIA used Modern Art as an ideological weapon against USSR;
and gave its approval in 2012 to the script of a movie narrating the hunt of Osama Bin Laden, produced by Megan Ellison, daughter of a software industry tycoon, who also recently bought the Terminator franchise.
also declared the american president, this time during a congress on innovation. Not only is Hollywood America's leading export industry at the service of its ideology, but cinema and techno-military innovation seem to work hand in hand.
Hollywood has a long history of gaining inputs and logistic support from various branches of the US army : the military funded ICT lab for instance, is regularly rewarded for the quality of their special effects in action movies .
Far from the 50s household robots utopia, even a Silicon Valley billionaire admits that « technology increases the wealth gap ».
From workers condition at Foxconn factory, Apple subcontractor,
to the behavioral experiments of Facebook,
and the military and trans-humanists investments of Google,
today's unregulated high-tech industry, caught up in the recent governmental scandal of bulk surveillance, which also happens to be its business model, is a serious manufacturer of « existential risk »
This new industry of ideas is already devouring everything..
If the body-builded super-man figure is often associated to fictionnal cyborg characters, Jérémie Zimmermann notes, in an article of may 2014, that we (almost everyone then) are already living in the cyborg era :
Surveillance has become as ordinary as the population it seeks to document and we are all voluntary employees of the californian corporations, which are building an Empire on our production of knowledge and datas we feed them. In other words, which are privatizing our lives, and depriving us of our privacy.
Etymologically, the word robot - introduced in R.U.R, a pessimistic science fiction play of the 20s - has slovak origins and refers to a « serf » or a « worker ».
Hence, we should all be called the roboti of this contemporary feudalism.
The forthcoming forms of artificial intelligence, like the corporations currently designing them, will soon be needing less human beings, but only wealthier, better predictable and still better entertained.
Or as Bill Joy has put it in 2000 :
The survival of the human race may well be at stake, yet in the meantime every major industry has successfully designed strategies to ensure their hegemony and sustainability : the oil industry has accumulated alternative energy patents, the tobacco industry and after them biotechnologies have managed their (non) liability instrumentalizing scientific doubt, etc.
James Cameron himself is backing a firm which plans to find in the outer space the raw materials which could go missing on Earth..
We now live in a world where people are being assassinated remotely based on their meta-datas.