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'Blade Runner' and AI robots

Posted October. 16, 2017 07:48,   

Updated October. 16, 2017 08:29


Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner (1982)” is known as the first cyberpunk film. The film describes bleak future where replicants (human clones) that look and think like humans provide labor. Four replicants escape from their off-world colony and go to Earth, and a special police-officer blade runner tracks them down. It is still deeply disturbing to watch a scene in the movie where replicants find the person who created them and call him “father,” and ask for life extension.

The sequel “Blade Runner 2049” carries on this question: what does it mean to be human? Set 30 years in the future, a newly created, submissive replicant K hunts down and eliminates old replicants plotting a rebellion, during which he faces an identity crisis. Human clones were a story in a sci-fi film or novel 30 years ago. Now, however, they have become a reality as there are prospects that half of jobs in the market will be taken by AI or robots within 20 to 30 years.

AI robot Sophia made appearance Wednesday at the United Nations Economic and Social Council, which is symbolic in many ways. Sophia was developed by Hong Kong-based manufacturer Hanson Robotics last year. She told the United Nations that humans need to manage technology so that AI can be used for good purposes. She is still learning a lot saying she is only a year and a half old, the AI robot said. However, just a year ago, when asked “Do you want to destroy humans?” she answered, “OK. I will destroy humans.” Which is the real face of AI?

The European Parliament gave AI a legal “electronic personhood” status on January 12 this year. This is the first time a non-human being earned a legal status except for corporate bodies. The European Union devised three principles for robots that included “A robot may not injure a human being,” stipulating that robots are subordinate to humans. However, Blade Runner or Sophia’s remarks make it difficult to take a rose-colored view. AI might completely reverse the definition of humanity and life in the near future.