Not really. Well, not really right now, at any rate, but sooner than yesterday. If 1984’s seminal costume-drama Terminator told us anything, it was that it only took Skynet less than a month to become self-aware after it was activated, so the proverbial clock is now figuratively ticking. But instead of the destruction of mankind being ushered in by a global defence network (what was ironically meant to be Earth’s salvation, in a sense), it’ll swoop down on the back of a delivery drone, contained in a brown cardboard box and stamped with the Amazon logo. We’ve written about the possibility of wearable tech creating a dystopian future, elements of which we’ve glimpsed in some relatively entertaining science-fiction films, but that was merely well-informed speculation. This is actually happening right now and it’s time we started getting proper scared.
Some less imaginative naysayers out there may posit that these kinds of predictions are just outlandish, baseless fearmongering, and they are, but that doesn’t mean they won’t happen. Take, for example, Google’s acquisition of Boston Dynamics. Fiction can tell us a lot about the truth, and the truth tells us that in the television reality series Fringe a company called Massive Dynamic altered the time-space continuum with its biodynamic meddling. What does that have to do with Google and robotics? Nothing, but that shouldn’t stop us from panicking.
With all of these super-rich corporations consolidating their technological powers to ultimately end life on Earth as we know it, it’s going to take one intrepid individual (or perhaps a group of unusually brilliant scientists and engineers brought together through unlikely coincidence) to invent a time machine so we can fix things after the fact, since history shows that, as a people, prevention isn’t really our strong point. We here at Epicentre are already brushing up on our quantum mechanics and eighteenth-century fashion in anticipation of testing the gadget and saving humanity.