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The Panic Room: Terminator is literally happening before our eyes

I’ll be back – after I take this Xanax and lie down for a bit.

Image: KnowTechie

Technology is terrible. The Panic Room is a weekly column where I take a look at some of the biggest tech stories of the week and prove it. Did I say prove it? I meant have a discussion about it. But I’ll ultimately prove it. Because the thing about technology is, it’s terrible. 

Where have I seen this befor-oh right, The Terminator

The other day my roommate was saying something derogatory about Italians (it’s okay because he’s Italian) when his phone’s Siri proclaimed, unprompted, that she was placing an order from a nearby Italian restaurant. That’s what I would call a happy AI mistake. Launching a nuclear strike on Italy because someone in the office said they were planning to reheat ravioli for lunch, on the other hand, is something I feel comfortable calling a bad AI mistake.

And yet, that’s the world that two nuclear experts think we need to live in. I say experts because that’s the term being thrown around, but something tells me that Adam Lowther and Curtis McGiffin – who recently authored a piece for War on the Rocks advocating for an AI-controlled nuclear arsenal – got their degrees at the same place as Denise Richards’ character in that one James Bond movie.

The idea is based on a “Dead Hand” protocol first deployed by Russia during the Cold War and more or less assures mutual destruction in the case of a nuclear attack. So right off the bat, it’s checking off a lot of great idea boxes. Handing this godlike power over to AI, which doesn’t make mistakes and has never told a lie, would be the only response rapid enough to deter countries like Russia or China from launching their new, super speedy missiles.

It’s also a really, supremely stupid idea.

I mean, really, it can’t be overstated. It’s like these two goofs watched the Terminator series one night and thought, “Yeah, that. Let’s make that real.” It’s literally how Terminator 3 ends, and that movie was so prophetic that it actually signaled the end of the Terminator franchise being watchable.

Or, as actual expert Peter W. Singer put it, “It’s, uh, quite an article.”

Deepfakes remain the dirt f*cking worst

man with mask sitting on a chair with headphones

By now, I’m sure you’ve all seen that deepfake video where Bill Hader’s face morphs into Tom Cruise’s face while he’s doing an impression of Tom Cruise. It’s a more disturbing 2 minutes than anything Barry has pulled off, and I include that feral zombie (?) daughter he fought last season.

Deepfakes are the worst. The dirt worst. The Jacob Wohl worst. And the technology behind it is already so popular that it’s being spun off into the audio realm, and then used to scam people out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Yeah, the victim in this week’s case was a CEO, but imagine when this starts happening to actual people. And it will be soon, because China has already figured out a way to get people to basically hand over this incredibly personal info for the chance to put their faces in famous movies.

This is some Fox News 11.am expose designed to scare your grandparents-type shit, and we’re only at the tip of this nightmare iceberg. Which coincidentally, is the name of the movie I’m currently writing for the Syfy channel.

A moment for a fallen star

I regret to inform everyone that Jeremy Renner’s fan interaction app has died following a horrific shark-jumping accident. I also regret to inform you that Hawkeye does not appear to know the meaning of the word “literally.” Gone 2 soon.

“I’m not even going to click that” Reddit headline of the week

I…how did you…

What do you think about this week in the world of terrible technology? Am I overreacting? No, right? Are you ready for IRL Terminator? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Writer. Editor. Barelyknewer. Hate mail can be directed to j j o n e s @ k a r s f o r k i d s d o t e a r t h l i n k

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