A big Singularity-themed Hollywood movie out in April offers many opportunities to talk about AI risk

There’s a big Hol­ly­wood movie com­ing out with an apoc­a­lyp­tic Sin­gu­lar­ity-like story, called Tran­scen­dence. (IMDB, Wiki, offi­cial site) With an A-list cast and big bud­get, I con­tend this movie is the front-run­ner to be 2014′s most sig­nifi­cant in­fluence on dis­cus­sions of su­per­in­tel­li­gence out­side spe­cial­ist cir­cles. Any­one hop­ing to in­fluence those dis­cus­sions should start prepar­ing some talk­ing points.

I don’t see any­body here agree with me on this. The movie has been briefly dis­cussed on LW when it was first an­nounced in March 2013, but since then, only the trailer (out since De­cem­ber) has been men­tioned. MIRI hasn’t pub­lished a word about it. This amazes me. We have three months till mil­lions of peo­ple who never con­sid­ered su­per­in­tel­li­gence are go­ing to start think­ing about it—is no­body both­er­ing to craft a re­sponse to the movie yet? Shouldn’t there be some­thing that lazy jour­nal­ists, given the job to write about this movie, can find?

Be­cause if there isn’t, they’ll dis­miss the dan­ger of AI like Erik Sofge already did in an early piece about the movie for Pop­u­lar Science, and nudge their read­ers to do so too. And that’d be a shame, wouldn’t it?