No one ever expected ‘Westworld’ to be bad when it debuted on HBO, but the show had been in “development Hell” for quite some time prior to its premiere, and expectations were, shall we say, tempered a bit. Fortunately, all of that concern was put to bed, as the show completed a phenomenal first season that appeased both fans and critics alike. The series has recently returned to the airwaves for its second season, to great anticipation from viewers.
The show takes a very “practical sci-fi” approach, as it deals heavily with artificial intelligence and how humans may attempt to use the technology for entertainment purposes. With real-life scientists seemingly moving ever closer to achieving the creation of actual sentient AI, the ‘Westworld’ showrunners were asked in a recent interview for their thoughts on the real-world progress. Showrunner Jonathan Nolan was quite succinct in his reply:
Writer-producer Lisa Joy was a bit more eloquent and wordy in her response:
“Being careful of hubris is as important as knowing the technology that you are developing. See in yourself and other people the capacity both for evil and for good. Know that the machines you build, your creations, will bear your fingerprints to some degree. And not necessarily the fingerprints you intentionally left but the ones that kind of grazed it unintentionally. It’s important to have people who will question you occasionally.
“There’s also what will happen with emotional intimacy when you’re forging a connection with creatures that are artificial. They’ve done these tests where you can talk to a ‘bot and it’s almost as good as talking to a psychologist. People just need someone to listen to them sometimes and that’s easy code — really easy. So many of our drives are just primary colors, which is something that’s both beautiful and tragic about us. So many of us feel alone. But that feeling of loneliness is one of the fundamental building blocks of our collective psyches. It’s just going to open up so many question … One day they won’t have to even go out to dinner because they can just hook up into a VR machine and imagine the taste. We’re getting further and further from a tactile universe. Maybe I’m a Luddite in that way, but I prefer a board game in front of the fire. And that’s actually why Westworld was created within our story. We allude to it, but it’s that people without money have to settle for VR and AR. But once you get to the point where you can afford a trip to Westworld, you want that because you can feel the difference. You’re walking around smelling the air and touching the things. Technology takes us further and further away from, yet also takes us closer and closer to, the things we want in our lives.”
The second season of Westworld is now airing on Sunday nights on HBO.