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. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Chez

      Re: Directors...

      On a vaguely similar note, Ridley Scott has stated in interviews that Deckard was a replicant, so it's canon, not just a fan theory.

      1. graeme leggett Silver badge

        Re: Directors...

        Though Horselover Fat (PKD) disagreed....

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Directors...

        >Apparently some footage from "The Shining" made it into the U.S. theatrical cut. Who knew?!

        That was fairly widely known, ever since the Director's Cut in the 90s, and again later in the internet age when Scott released the Ultimate Edition. What was new to me, however, was that the footage was given by Kubrick to a fed-up Scott, and the difference in aspect ratios made this re-purposing possible (otherwise there would be a VW Beetle in Blade Runner).

        On a tangential side note, some people important to Scott's film Alien (Dan O'Bannon, HR Giger, Chris Foss) were first assembled by the director Jodorowsky for an abandoned adaptation of Herbert's Dune. Dune is set in an apparently post-AI universe, long after a human crusade to destroy all AIs in a 'Butlerian Jihad'. A similar issue is explored in Iain M Bank's non-Culture sci-fi novel The Algebraist.

        And yeah, in interviews an exasperated Scott has confirmed the theories about Deckard by pointing out a detail in what should be the last scene (before the extra Kubrick-shot footage was bolted on); a character dops a certain item on the ground. The actor playing him would later play Admiral Adama in the new Battlestar Gallactica.

        1. Graham Marsden

          Re: Directors...

          > Apparently some footage from "The Shining" made it into the U.S. theatrical cut. Who knew?!

          I did, but I'm a major BR geek :-)

          As to the nature of Deckard, Dave 126 points out, in the versions without the "happy ending" of them driving off into the sunset (and with the Unicorn Dream included), there's a big hint as Rachael walks into the lift. There are other hints in the film too.

          Not to mention those spine-chilling lines "You've done a man's job, Sir" and "It's too bad she won't live. But then again, who does...?"

          1. BongoJoe

            Re: Directors...

            > Apparently some footage from "The Shining" made it into the U.S. theatrical cut. Who knew?!

            There were, it seems, no end of 'Director's Cuts' of this film. One of the ones that I saw had the replicants' eyes slightly glow. Deckard's eyes were glowing in this one and it drove me mad.

            One of the other clues to Deckard being a replicant was that he was the best Blade Runner of them all. In other words, he was brought in as "a thief to catch a thief".

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Directors... [Dan O'Bannon]

          Your mention of Dan O'Bannon called to mind Bomb #20 in Dark Star.

          "Let there be light..."

  2. Mage

    Nice review of Robots in fiction ...

    The Three laws are a Mcguffin, a plot device to explore how they can be broken.

    Iain M. Banks is self indulgent fantasy.

    None of the examples are real attempts to propose what AI might be or do. They are irrelevant to AI research and development, which in reality has hardly advanced since Alan Turning mused about it. Even the Turing Test wasn't a serious proposal for a real AI test, but a bit of a thought experiment.

    We still aren't too sure exactly what natural intelligence is, though we think that corvids (crows) are inexplicably smarter than some primates. There seems to be little or not correlation between brain size and self awareness, ability for language, creativity, problem solving, art, and tool creation and use, all things thought to indicate intelligence.

    "AI" in broadest sense has only made progress by having a very narrow definition of it, and heavily relies on a human expert, human programmers and a database to initialise the system. It shows none of the sort of characteristics seen in children, corvids or other animals.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Nice review of Robots in fiction ...

      >Iain M. Banks is self indulgent fantasy.

      To be self indulgent is point of fantasy. Self awareness is throughout Bank's 'A Few Notes On The Culture', an excerpt from which is here:

      Certainly there are arguments against the possibility of Artificial Intelligence, but they tend to boil down to one of three assertions: one, that there is some vital field or other presently intangible influence exclusive to biological life - perhaps even carbon-based biological life - which may eventually fall within the remit of scientific understanding but which cannot be emulated in any other form (all of which is neither impossible nor likely); two, that self-awareness resides in a supernatural soul - presumably linked to a broad-based occult system involving gods or a god, reincarnation or whatever - and which one assumes can never be understood scientifically (equally improbable, though I do write as an atheist); and, three, that matter cannot become self-aware (or more precisely that it cannot support any informational formulation which might be said to be self-aware or taken together with its material substrate exhibit the signs of self-awareness). ...I leave all the more than nominally self-aware readers to spot the logical problem with that argument.

      It is, of course, entirely possible that real AIs will refuse to have anything to do with their human creators (or rather, perhaps, the human creators of their non-human creators), but assuming that they do - and the design of their software may be amenable to optimization in this regard - I would argue that it is quite possible they would agree to help further the aims of their source civilisation (a contention we'll return to shortly). At this point, regardless of whatever alterations humanity might impose on itself through genetic manipulation, humanity would no longer be a one-sentience-type species. The future of our species would affect, be affected by and coexist with the future of the AI life-forms we create.


      -Iain M Banks

      (Sun-Earther Iain El-Bonko Banks of North Queensferry)

      Copyright 1994 Iain M Banks

      Commercial use only by permission.

      Other uses, distribution, reproduction, tearing to shreds etc are freely encouraged provided the source is acknowledged.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice review of Robots in fiction ...

      "We still aren't too sure exactly what natural intelligence is"

      That's absolutely right. For example, there's a species of dolphin that has more neocortical neurons than humans. What's it doing with them? We don't know, but perhaps it's very intelligent in a way that we can't properly appreciate.

      1. Stephen 1

        Re: Nice review of Robots in fiction ...

        I'd always thought they need them to process the sonar return data, this is effectively an additional 3d 'vision' after all.

      2. magickmark
        Thumb Up

        Re: Nice review of Robots in fiction ...

        I like this quote from Douglas Adams about dolphins and intelligence in general:

        For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much—the wheel, New York, wars and so on—whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man—for precisely the same reasons.

    3. The bigger, blacker box.

      Re: Nice review of Robots in fiction ...


      >>None of the examples are real attempts to propose what AI might be or do. They are irrelevant to AI research and development, which in reality has hardly advanced since Alan Turning mused about it.

      This is possibly the most important fact about AI, and one I discussed with my proposed masters dissertation tutor, Turing suggested something for A.I. which (most) research steered away from, Turing suggested that every rule must be learnt not innate (and of course, the context was a mash up between computing engines and AI), in CPU terms it's like having routines built in for mathematical functions, a "CISC" processor, Turing indicated that AI should be built from RISC (not his words obviously), however most AI is built from sets of rules - and Asimov cements this in the three laws (and of course, other authors seem to feel the need to add to), these laws actually destroy AI, not create it, they create a veneer, a pretence, human laws like the golden rule come from evolution, AI must evolve or it's not AI, it's AAI

  3. Scott 53

    And the point is...

    Well there's a list of some things with robots and AI in. Thanks.

    And it's grisly. A grizzly end is when you've survived long enough to go a bit Gary Lineker around the temples.

    1. Havin_it

      Re: And the point is...

      I thought it was what Leo DiCaprio definitely *didn't* receive while filming The Revenant (the strenuousness of those studio denials remains somewhat suspicious in my mind).

    2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: And the point is...

      Shirley a grizzly end is what you get when you're attacked by a bear?

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    I'm sorry Dave, ....

    AI Rules Ok!



  5. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

    thanks for the pointers

    I somehow missed hearing about Automata and Ghost in the Shell. Will have to check these out.

    1. Havin_it

      Re: thanks for the pointers

      Randomly I've just finished re-reading GITS (top acronym or what) in the throne-room. It's a great bit of thoughtful SF though it gets a little too dense at times (like when the Puppeteer is explaining the nature of its "self" to the protagonist Kusanagi - bloody glad that's split over two vignettes). The author had a head teeming with ideas on this subject, but some of them might have been better reserved for "backmatter" rather than shoehorning them all into the narrative, which makes it quite clunky in places when it's trying to be a rollicking action yarn at the same time. (His "Appleseed" series suffers from this a bit too, though less so.)

      My favourite aspect of the book is the Fuchikomas: AI-driven vehicles (cross between an exoskeleton and a small tank) that are sort-of-a-hive-mind-and-sort-of-not. They operate independently throughout the day, but all their memories and experiences are pooled and redistributed at day's end. Nevertheless, they're individual enough within a single day to engage in some delightfully "human" conceits (like indulging in petty shoplifting, or inciting a robot rebellion before having its peers point out what a silly idea that would be for practical reasons).

      Not seen Automata, but soon may!

    2. Enki

      Re: thanks for the pointers

      Another good one to add to the list is the anime "Time of Eve", which also explores AI independance and discrimination within the context of Asimov's three laws.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What was the film about an AI computer in a professor's household that finally metamorphoses into a flesh and blood replica of his dead young son?

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: "AI becomes replica of son"

      simply titled A.I. Artificial Intelligence and mentioned briefly in the article. Excellent movie, BTW. I highly recommend. Same notation for Ex Machina.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "AI becomes replica of son"

        "simply titled A.I. Artificial Intelligence and mentioned briefly in the article."

        No - not that one. The film I meant was much darker. An interactive AI mainframe super-computer is given access to the professor's home with webcams etc. It gradually takes on a malevolent character - interacting more and more with the still grieving mother and her memories of her dead son.

        What it wants is to be a real living person - free from its hardware confines. Eventually it starts to make a cocoon to generate its new body. To stop it the power is disconnected. The film ends as the cocoon bursts open and a child emerges looking like the dead son - with the malevolent personality and powers of the super-computer.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "AI becomes replica of son"

          Found it. My memory was imperfect in several details but the broad sweep was right. It was a dead daughter not a son.

          "Demon Seed" (1977)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "AI becomes replica of son"

            And don't forget SoltyRei, "AI becomes replica of daughter". [1]


    2. Steve Kerr

      That was Demon Seed!

      1. TRT Silver badge

        I was going to point out Demon Seed. Truly impenetrable AI, its own form of intelligence in fact.

    3. Anonymous Blowhard


      "Demon Seed":

  7. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Kind of sad...

    This appearing the week Dr. Minsky dies...

    I'm a "weak AI" bloke, meaning I don't think we'll ever have AI, but the research has useful spinoffs.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I think we might actually get there one day, but I'm sure the scientist in charge will not recognize it and erase it to start over.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Dr. Minsky himself co-authored a novel about an AI robot... it took the form of a cylinder, and had appendages that kept sub-dividing, which it uses to perform brain surgery on its human ally.

        EDIT: Found it:

        Hahaha Minsky's co-author was Harry Harrison! Fantastic!

  8. Tikimon

    Results dependent on the Hand of the Programmer

    AI will most likely reflect the attitudes and worldview of whomever or whatever is programing it. Two major cases for that which directly connect...

    Human-directed. AI are all currently built by humans, and humans will fill their heads with whatever they see fit. These will closely resemble the standard "human motives and values" AI from film and stories. They will vary widely, but will be human creations and somewhat mirrors of us.

    Machine-directed (self or external). At some point, design and programing of AI may be partly or wholly passed to other machines. AI may become self-directed learning things and program themselves (like we do). When that happens, all bets are off and no predictions can be made. Such entities will have a strange and incomprehensible (to us meat monkeys) psychology. There's just no way to even guess.

    Come back in a century and maybe we'll know...

  9. graeme leggett Silver badge

    An opinion

    ", Robot the Will Smith film based on the Asimov book produced 54 years before it goes on to explore how AI may try to enslave us for our own good and survival as a species.Hollywood will unselfconsciously appropriate a book title and then not use an ounce of the original content

    1. Vector

      Re: An opinion

      Have an upvote!

      I think that line should have been:

      I, Robot the Will Smith film based on that uses the same title as the Asimov book produced 54 years before it

      That movie really annoys me for the reason you state plus the fact that they threw out the spirit of the book (an exploration of how humans and robots might co-exist) along with all the material.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: An opinion

      'I, Robot' (the book) is a collection of short stories. There are more stories in the same setting in 'The Rest of the Robots'. Towards the end, the robots take over - not in an action packed bloody revolution, but so subtly that only about two people notice (IIRC one of them is Dr Susan Calvin). Hollywood make action movies because they are profitable. If you are one of those weirdos who like fiction that gives you something to think about, read a book. I enjoy both types of entertainment, and luckily the film and the short stories are so dissimilar that neither is a spoiler for the other.

      'Blade Runner' and 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep' are also massively different. I prefer the film, but the book does explain why Tyrell has an owl.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: An opinion

        Well the joy of short (sci-fi) stories is that the author can speculate about different outcomes of the same premise... In the Asimov universe I read, Susan Calvin is long dead before the Robots develop the Zeroth Law. :)

  10. Andy 73 Silver badge


    How could you say there haven't been stories about AIs without at least mentioning GLaDOS?

    1. A K Stiles

      Re: GLaDOS

      Wouldn't you like some cake?

      The orange one, with 'Aperture Science' on it, thanks!

      1. P. Lee

        Re: GLaDOS

        >The orange one, with 'Aperture Science' on it, thanks!

        I'm sorry, we appear to have run out of cake in this forum. Please go on to the next, I'm sure there is some there.

    2. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: GLaDOS

      Yep, he did gloss over fictional AIs from video games.

      He mentioned SHODAN, but missed out:

      - Durandal (though only 90s Mac gamers could be expected to know it)

      - Cortana, and 343 Guilty Spark. Cortana was a fictional AI aide to military commanders, and later her gave her name to Microsoft's 'personal assistant' software, which itself was, as was Siri, derived from Department of Defence projects in the 90s designed to triage tactically-relevant information for real battlefield commanders.

      Quazatron (okay, that was on the ZX Spectrum)

      1. Stoneshop

        Re: GLaDOS

        Yep, he did gloss over fictional AIs from video games.

        If with 'he' you're referring to the author, then you're demonstrating Natural Stupidity, especially with regard to parsing the author's name and correlating it to other articles she has written, some of which clearly reveal her gender.

    3. Crisp

      Re: GLaDOS

      Seeing as she was a copy of Cave Johnson's secretary Caroline, was GLaDOS a true AI?

  11. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Adding More than Simple Depth to the Widening Web

    or that sentient robots may try to establish a society of their own; or the idea that AIs might become omnipresent godheads – benevolent or otherwise.

    Hmmmm? Now there’s a future novelty and prescient thought. ……

    To … Demis Hassabis [Google DeepMind]

    From …. C42 Quantum Communication Control Systems .... AI@ITsWork

    Subject …… Greater IntelAIgent Games Play

    Would Google DeepMinded like to consider the releasing of an Advanced IntelAIgent Patch to ailing and collapsing systems/exclusive executive administrations with Global Operating Devices and Tethered Multi-Media Machines?

    A little something huge and quite completely different and virtually real ……. and even to be thought and realised and accepted as an Almighty Version of Great Gaming for Future Programming Programs for Projection …….with Mass Media Hosting Presentation with Real Live AIdDelivery of Future Key Play and Players with Immaculate Content of Impeccable Taste to freely share, and to the benefit of all to a most satisfactory degree.

    And here be what IT is all about with the Creation in CyberSpace of the Command and Control of Computers and Communications amongst other things :-) I Kid U Not.

    cc …

    One wonders how AI would have portrayed itself if the robots been in charge rather than the carbon-based lifeforms.

    Carbon-based life phorms in charge of what and to what ultimate end is the question to be well answered there, methinks, to garner an enthusiastic following and magical support. And do no evil is/was a great starting point.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Adding More than Simple Depth to the Widening Web

      Bug powder dust and Mugwump jism. Wideboys running around Interzone tripping.

      The fruits of their “scientific” labors are what have created our societies and they have been, in the main, if not ignored, dismissed. They have always been perceived as being “eccentric”, “a little bit odd” even “barking mad” but they have left us with all things, some which we can treasure and all that we thought we needed. - dDutch Initiative

      Intelligence, which is capable of looking farther ahead than the next aggressive mutation, can set up long-term aims and work towards them; the same amount of raw invention that bursts in all directions from the market can be - to some degree - channelled and directed, so that while the market merely shines (and the feudal gutters), the planned lases, reaching out coherently and efficiently towards agreed-on goals. What is vital for such a scheme, however, and what was always missing in the planned economies of our world's experience, is the continual, intimate and decisive participation of the mass of the citizenry in determining these goals, and designing as well as implementing the plans which should lead towards them. Iain M Banks

      1. Colin Ritchie

        Re: Adding More than Simple Depth to the Widening Web

        @Dave126 Have an up vote just for the Bomb the Bass quote.

        Tryin like hard to not blow my cover.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Tail Up

      Re: Adding More than Simple Depth to the Widening Web

      Re: More than Depth (-:

      impersonal, informal

      To: DH @ DM @ GOOG

      From: ecoinformal

      Sbj: Multiple Patching

      cc: 360 bros


      "I'm not a wind

      I'm not the Sun

      I'm Love

      I'll vanish

      2b back


      7B, I'm Love, 2002

      1. Tail Up

        Re: Adding More than Simple Depth to the Widening Web


        7B, I'm Love, 2002

  12. graeme leggett Silver badge

    that AI will break free from any laws that place it in technological bondage

    Der Golem?


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