Westworld isn’t your typical amusement park. Intended for rich vacationers, the futuristic park — which is looked after by robotic “hosts” — allows its visitors to live out their fantasies through artificial consciousness. No matter how illicit the fantasy may be, there are no consequences for the park’s guests, allowing for any wish to be indulged. – Synopsis
AI has come a long way in recent years. We now have smartphone companions that help us achieve simple tasks, and some robotics teams are creating fascinating machines that are downright eerie. Elon Musk has said that his greatest worry/fear is that we will create AI that will eventually replace us. (Or destroy depending on how you look at it.) That may sound crazy at first, but if you really think about it and look at the evidence, Elon Musk is absolutely correct. He has compared the way that AI will look to us as the way that we look at ants now: If ants come in our way, we will eliminate them without a second though, but we will mostly ignore them.
On the other hand, the wide access to all of the world’s knowledge has greatly improved the human’s quality of life. AI could continue to bring even greater knowledge, at improved speeds, directly to us in the future and aid us in many ways. AI can succeed at living longer while human bodies will eventually fail. If you had the opportunity to upload your consciousness into the “cloud” and “live” forever, would you?
Westworld does to me what I look for in all great works of entertainment: It makes me feel. What I really look for in form of entertainment whether it be books, TV shows, movies, or video games, is to have the writing be done so well that it hits me with some emotional impact. There are a few scenes that stand out to me in Westworld. (With most of them being in the second half of Season 2.) It is hard to not get choked up when you feel the pain of a loved one being taken away from you, or by seeing a mother just trying to defend her daughter at all costs. The show is written so well that character’s backstories culminate into these amazing climaxes of human emotion. The beauty behind Westworld, is that these emotions come from artificially created stories and people. The real question is: Does that make it any less real?
The Truman Show Delusion
One of my all time favorite films, The Truman Show, has a physiological syndrome named after it for people who believe that they are acting out their life as a reality show.
When I start to go down the AI rabbit hole, I always come to this delusion again. Westworld also makes me think about this delusion. In a park full of AI robots, and the guests can’t even tell who is real, what makes us think that real life would be any different? I could by typing this for only AI to read it and interact with me on what I am writing.
Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?
If you look at some of my old posts (Please don’t though. They are even worse than current posts…) you’ll see that I have an obsession with soundtracks from all forms of entertainment as well. I had to add a section here about how awesome Ramin Djawadi did in creating the soundtrack for this show. It blew me away the entire time, and I am consistently listening to it on spotify. Check out this rendition of The Rolling Stone’s Paint it Black:
Westworld is one of the best stories that I have experienced, and some of the scenes are shot so beautifully, it reminds me of a work of art. You can tell a lot of care was put into setting up virtually everything about this show. Go check it out.