The Terminator director James Cameron comments on the rise of AI: “I wanted you guys in 1984 and you didn’t listen.”
In the not-too-distant future, the last survivor of humanity utters, “We should have listened to him…” In 1984, James Cameron gave us The Terminator, a highly entertaining sci-fi action movie that warned of the threats of AI, but we didn’t take it seriously enough.
While speaking with CTV News Chief Political Correspondent Vassy Kapelos, James Cameron commented on the potential threat that AI poses to humanity. “I warned you guys in 1984, and you didn’t listen,” Cameron said. “I think the weaponization of AI is the biggest danger. I think that we will get into the equivalent of a nuclear arms race with AI, and if we don’t build it, the other guys are for sure going to build it, and so then it’ll escalate.”
Cameron continued, “You could imagine an AI in a combat theatre, the whole thing just being fought by the computers at a speed humans can no longer intercede, and you have no ability to deescalate.“
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The Terminator director also commented on the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike, in which the studio’s usage of AI plays a major part. James Cameron doesn’t think AI is at the level where it will be replacing talented writers anytime soon. “It’s never an issue of who wrote it, it’s a question of, is it a good story?” Cameron said. “I just don’t personally believe that a disembodied mind that’s just regurgitating what other embodied minds have said — about the life that they’ve had, about love, about lying, about fear, about mortality — and just put it all together into a word salad and then regurgitate it … I don’t believe that have something that’s going to move an audience.“
James Cameron isn’t the only person who has commented on the AI future predicted in The Terminator, as Arnold Schwarzenegger shared the same thoughts several weeks ago. “Today, everyone is frightened of it, of where this is gonna go,” the actor said at An Evening with Arnold Schwarzenegger event in Los Angles. “And in this movie, in ‘Terminator,’ we talk about the machines becoming self-aware and they take over…Now over the course of decades, it has become a reality. So it’s not any more fantasy or kind of futuristic. It is here today. And so this is the extraordinary writing of Jim Cameron.“