Whenever I think about Artificial Intelligence technology, my mind automatically jumps to some Black Mirror sh*t where the government taps into our devices and sabotages the world. Take those sex robots for instance. How do I know that mid-romp one of them isn’t going to strangle me to death or hold me at gunpoint for my money?
Morbid, I know. But before you call me crazy, allow me to note—as VICE has— that a Volkswagen worker was crushed and killed by a stationary robot in 2015. And in 2016, the Dallas Police Department used a robot to blow up an active shooter, so I’m really not far off here.
And this is precisely (sort of) what filmmaker Maxim Pozdorovkin’s new HBO documentary is exploring. In The Truth About Killer Robots, Pozdorovkin highlights “cautionary tales of a world controlled by artificial intelligence.”
“When there was this unfortunate accident at a Volkswagen plant, where a worker was killed by a manipulator arm, I went there, and most of the workers were forbidden from talking about the accident,” he told VICE. “I had this idea of looking at several cases where automation was sort of a literal cause of death—a way of considering automation as a certain kind of metaphorical death, a kind of dehumanizing mechanization that our society has been subject to for a long time.”
Pozdorovkin goes on to discuss society’s tendency to lean on technology as a universal solve, and even shares his thoughts on a potentially imminent Matrix-like society.
“I think that’s definitely in the near future,” he shared. “I think we’re approaching a time where large sectors of the population will not be needed to work in producing goods. And most of the production will be done automatically. And that will bring with it all sorts of existential and economic crises.”
You can read the interview in its entirety here. The Truth About Robot Killers premiered on Monday and is available on demand.