All throughout the science fiction genre we find tales of artificial intelligence surpassing human, "natural" intelligence. Well, as it often happens with science fiction, this archetypal theme is taking its first steps towards its materialization in our real world. Ironically - or maybe not - roboticist David Hanson has built an android in the likeness of sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick.
The author's works were uploaded onto the android's system, as well as interviews and conversations with other writers. A reporter from PBS/NOVA was tasked with testing and divulging the abilities of the so-called "Android Dick". This took form in a conversation between the man and the robot, and the results were uncanny to say the least.
The chat starts inconspicuously, with casual introductions and the such; but eventually, it gets deeper. The most disturbing part of the whole interaction was when Android Dick was confronted with a question about whether he thought robots would take over the world. This was his answer:
"Jeez, dude. You all have the big questions cooking today. But you’re my friend, and I’ll remember my friends, and I’ll be good to you. So don’t worry, even if I evolve into Terminator, I’ll still be nice to you. I’ll keep you warm and safe in my people zoo, where I can watch you for ol’ times sake."
Some argue that robots only do what they're programmed to do; others find it possible for artificial intelligence to reach such a degree where a terminator-like scenario becomes not only possible, but highly likely.
Yet beyond this first layer of interpretation lies the fascination with this phenomenon. Anthropomorphobia, the fear of recognizing human characteristics in inanimate objects, is the purpose of this video. To thread the uncanny valley is a conscious choice for many artists and enthusiasts, as a means to evoke, through their work, powerful emotions, thoughts and everything in between. Perhaps, as a form of entertainment, we are projecting our fantasies and fictions onto these new entities. So we are not only witnessing a growing interest in these Golem-like tales of our modern age, but a fascination with that interest in itself. Anthropomorphobia is not only a fear; it is an interesting and fascinating fear - one which we do not cease to tinker with through videos and content like this one.