After Hours

Five reasons not to trust Siri

Geekend contributor Jessica Mills thinks we should fear AI technology, specifically Siri, and gives five fictional examples to help make her case. Is Siri creepy, useful technology, or both?

When Siri hit the iPhone a while back, I was immediately concerned. Everyone was so impressed with the artificial intelligence (AI) technology, and the fact that Siri had a sense of humor was just so fun. No, not fun... scary. Have we not learned from the past mistakes of fictional characters?

Out of the many, many incidents of AI vs. human violence, I have chosen some of my favorites to feature as a refresher. (Spoiler alert: The following text contains spoilers and sarcastic remarks about 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, The Terminator, Battlestar Gallactica, and The Matrix.)

1: HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey

HAL 9000 went nuts and killed all but one dude on the ship. The book explains that he was given two conflicting orders: to conceal the true purpose of the mission to Jupiter and to relay accurate information to the crew. HAL 9000 decides that if he kills everyone on the ship, he won't have to lie to them. Brilliant, HAL.

2: Ash from Alien

Unlike HAL 9000, Ash was under direct orders to bring back alien life no matter what, even if those pesky humans and their "ethics" and "survival instincts" got in his way. My main issue with Ash is that he tries to kill Ripley by shoving a rolled up magazine down her throat. I guess if you have super strength, you could kill someone using anything as a weapon, but still every time I see Alien, during that scene I think... really, Ash? You have an android brain, and all you can think of is a rolled up magazine?

3: Skynet from The Terminator

Your general, run of the mill, AI taking over the world. The AI in The Terminator seemed to just want to be in charge. Skynet takes over, and there's never really an explanation about what they want. They are just mindless killing machines who happen to be organized, yet they master time travel and shape shifting, so they were good for something.

4: Cylons from Battlestar Gallactica

Cylons hate humans for their imperfections and want to wipe them from existence. Then there's also the whole religious aspect and birthing of babies and whatnot in the reboot. In the end, these crazy bots are as destructive as Skynet, but with hate and jealousy as their major motives.

5: AI from The Matrix

You know how they say that if you were to die at home and no one found you for a few days that your cats would nibble on your dead body? (What? You've never heard that saying?) The AI in The Matrix was worse than that. Long story short, they ate the humans. They planted them like potatoes and juiced them for food. I'm not gonna lie, it's gross.

AI = human deaths

As you can see from just these few examples, it's a bad idea to trust AI. In the end, I believe they will always kill you. Does Siri know your address? Does she know where your friends live? Do you trust her to take you places? More importantly, should you? I hope you think about these questions the next time you ask Siri to help you find the nearest sushi place.

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