I have no mouth and I must scream. Are we afraid of AI?

We crave it and we are afraid of it in equal parts. Artificial Intelligence is on our horizon. A closer and nearer horizon. We can almost touch it with our fingers….

Will it solve mankind’s greatest problems or will it end the history of our species? It is not easy to give an answer to this question. In general, and perhaps because the apocalyptic scenarios are much more playful than the utopian ones, science fiction has almost always chosen to portray the relationship between humans and artificial intelligences in a very gloomy way…

The examples in film and literature are countless. From timeless classics like Blade Runner to modern myths like Matrix. And of course, without ignoring an icon in the field, such as the Terminator. Have you ever seen any of the films in the saga? If this is the case, then you will probably know the name of the great enemy of Humanity in this group of films: Skynet.

You probably do not know what its most immediate precedent is, which is found in a story from the distant year 1967, called “I have no mouth and I must scream“.

I have no mouth and I must scream.

This unforgettable title is the name of one of the most terrifying stories of the great Harlan Ellison, one of the most important science fiction writers of the 20th century.

It tells the terrible story of a group of five people, four men and one woman, who happen to be the last survivors of a nuclear holocaust and are under the rule of an all-powerful entity called AM.

AM is an evil being with unlimited power. It hates the human species beyond belief, and has fun torturing its “guests”, and it artificially extends their lives for decades just to get the pleasure of continuing to torment them.

As if that were not enough, the options available for the desperate humans to get rid of AM are non-existent. His actions are so terrible that, at a certain point in the story, one of the characters begs for help from Jesus Christ and then later realises that it makes no sense to ask God for help, since if there were something with a power similar to God’s, it would undoubtedly be AM.

But where did this horrible and mind-blowing entity come from? If I tell you that AM is an Artificial Intelligence, and it was originally a military system, then you will connect the dots, and if I tell you that, at a certain point, it becomes aware of itself and decides to exterminate the human species, you will surely think that you have already heard this story…

Indeed, the similarities between AM and Skynet are obvious. It is so obvious that, according to Wikipedia, Ellison himself has repeatedly stated that Skynet would be based on AM and the Terminator saga itself would have taken ideas from two episodes of the series “Beyond the Limit”, scripted by Ellison.

In fact, and after some controversy, the beginning of the credits for the Terminator films included an express recognition of Harlan Ellison’s work. The connections seem to be clear.

Should we be afraid of Artificial Intelligence?

Entities like AM and Skynet bring fear into our bodies, but that does not mean that we should abandon the development of Artificial Intelligence, but it is a path of such importance that we must walk with all possible precautions.

Over the past few years, multiple voices have warned us of this. From Elon Musk to Bill Gates, from the Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom to the recently deceased Stephen Hawking, many people from the world of Science, Technology and Philosophy have expressed opinions that vary from one extreme to the other; from those who believe that AI will be the end of Humanity to those who think that it will be the greatest achievement ever achieved and that it will raise the standards of quality of life above anything ever imagined.

Who is right and who is wrong?

It is too early to give an answer to this question. It seems certain that, above all other considerations, nothing will stop human curiosity and the desire to improve, so sooner or later, technology will move forward to give us an answer… or a conclusion.

In any case, we must bear in mind that Artificial General Intelligence is self-conscious and capable of handling any kind of situation that the real world might present, and that it is a Weak Artificial Intelligence, like some of the ones that we already have today and that can be very helpful for very specialized tasks.

In fact, many experts believe that we will never be able to develop self-aware Artificial General Intelligence, or that it will take hundreds of years to do so, since we are not yet able to understand how the human brain works. But there are also those who think that the creation of it is a time thing and we will see it between us much sooner than most people would expect (around 2030, more specifically).

Could Pandora FMS stop Skynet or AM?

Hopefully, we’ll never have to answer a question like this again! The truth is that Pandora FMS is a powerful and flexible monitoring tool, but we have not yet thought about how it could stop a self-conscious and all-powerful Artificial Intelligence. It will be a matter of thinking about it….

Pandora FMS can monitor devices, infrastructures, applications, services or business processes. And it does it so well that many large companies around the world already have it.

And, have you ever watched “I have no mouth and I must scream”? What are your thoughts regarding this film “I have no mouth and I must scream”? Let us know down below in the comment section.

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