By Travis Johnson

Having directed Alien and Blade Runner, Ridley Scott knows a thing or two about malfunctioning artificial lifeforms and the dangers they pose. It’s a theme that crops up again in the new film, Morgan, directed by Luke Scott, Sir Ridley’s son. Scott senior acted as executive producer on the film, which sees Kate Mara playing an investigator who must unravel the mystery behind an artificial life experiment gone wrong. However, when we sat down with Scott to discuss the film, it soon became apparent that the questions these films pose aren’t as abstract to him as one might suppose.

Asked about the possibilities of machine intelligence, Scott ruminated, “When you get the very smartest computer you can possibly design, the first thing you are going to do is get that computer to design another computer, which is smarter than they are. Then you get these two computers to commune. Once you do that, you’re in a lot of trouble. They’re so far ahead of you, then they’ve already disconnected this, and connected that. They’re thinking miles ahead of you. So once we do that, we’re in real trouble.”

Which is fair enough: the possibility of machines designed by machines outstripping human cognitive performance is something technologists wrestle with on the reg. However, asked to elaborate, Scott pushed on, saying, “I think they’ve done it already. I think there are super computers already.”

…which is a little more left field than anticipated. Maybe Sir Ridley learned more when he made that ad for Apple than he’s let on?

Morgan screens as part of the 2016 SciFi Film Festival, which runs from October 19 – 23 at Sydney’s Ritz Cinema. For tickets and info, click through here



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