While James Cameron is quite adept at creating and filming exciting machines, guns, and other futuristic technology (as seen in both his “Terminator” films, “Aliens,” and his “Avatar” movies), his films tend to be about how the military and machine-wielders are alternately powerless and suspicious. Ironically, one of the most tech-forward filmmakers of his generation tells stories of trusting the natural world over any machines humans may build.
The filmmaker expressed his trepidation about a machine takeover in the December 19, 2022 episode of “Smartless,” a podcast hosted by Sean Hayes, Will Arnett, and Jason Bateman. Cameron, as their guest, talked about making his new film “Avatar: The Way of Water” before diverging into his thoughts on a dark machine future:
“Well, I’m not ‘afraid’ but I’m certainly pretty concerned about the potential for misuse of A.I. I think A.I. can be great, but also it could literally be the end of the world. You talk to all of the A.I. scientists — and I know a bunch of them — and every time I put my hand up at their seminars or something, they just start laughing. ‘Oh, that’s the Skynet Guy, sure, we really want to hear from you.’ The point is that no technology has ever not been weaponized. And do we really want to be fighting something smarter than us that isn’t us on our own world? I don’t think so.”
Cameron does have a point: Humanity tends to find either a money-making or a destruction use for many technological advances. Science, in an ideal world, would be used to save us and help us. In practice, well, humans invent atomic bombs.