Did Will Smith in I, Robot do such a convincing job that we can’t bear the thought of AI friends? Sci-fi author Ken MacLeod on the real reason for our AI skepticism, and how it could do us a favor.

Has science fiction changed the way we look at AI?

If sci-fi films like Frankenstein or i-Robot are anything to go by, you’d be forgiven for being skeptical about the future of AI. Both feature creations of technology that eventually rebel. Cult movies aside, AI could improve lives, from autonomous healthcare to robotic relationships. But how do we make it safe?

AI and the future of robotics

The ‘rebellious robot’ narrative has been around in film and TV for decades, says sci-fi author Ken MacLeod. As AI and robotics have advanced and evolved, so too have our fears. Speaking for Big Think, MacLeod dissects our subconscious AI skepticisms, how they might help us build safer robots and what to keep in mind as technology evolves.