‘Terminator’ is back! AI experts do a reality check on Hollywood’s new robo-nightmare

"GeekWire: Did the producers and writers and the rest of the team behind “Terminator” learn anything since the earlier films?

Carissa Schoenick: “Yeah … Since we’ve already taken for granted that these AIs seem to have motivations of their own, now they are trying to depict an AI that shows the flip side of that — that a Terminator could begin to understand human motivations. Like, why bother having a family? Or why bother taking care of someone? It was refreshing to see them trying to work in an angle of, since we’re in a future where robots can be evil, why not have robots that can also aspire to be good? But the idea of having robots with intrinsic motivation at all is something that’s pretty silly. AI is a tool or an expression of the humans that build it.”

Ryan Calo: “What I thought they did with this one is that they brought in a number of actually credible technologies. Somebody comes back from the future with some terrible motivation and these horrible capabilities, right? But it enters a world that is full of cameras and completely networked, with widespread availability of weapons.

“Like the previous films, this one seems to be commenting on the present-day technological capabilities that we’ve built that are dangerous, if you had somebody with the motivation to leverage them. Facial recognition, drones, cameras everywhere, our phones being tracking devices … these are all interesting contemporary issues. It doesn’t matter if it’s a robot from the future or an alien from beyond the stars. We have created a world where something that can take advantage of these affordances would be all the more perilous and deadly.”"