Forbidden Planet, Movie & Metaphor

“Forbidden Planet”, the Movie: a Metaphor for our times

and a Cautionary Tale for “Cognitive Assistants”1, 2?

In the 1956 movie, the extinct Krell are described as having had highly moral conscious minds, and vastly advanced technology that they developed to provide huge benefits to their race. However, they failed to take into account their unconscious minds that could control the destructive uses of their powerful technology. The inadvertent empowering of their unconscious resulted in the destruction of their species.

The human race, although striving to develop science and technology in ways that can empower the individual and society, fails to take into account that they’re also empowering the primitive, lawless, darker sides of humanity (criminals, terrorists, and other predators) whose aim is to enslave or destroy any and all groups that stand in the way of their power or are identified as “the other”. Is the Global War on Terror an ultimately doomed attempt to roll back the indiscriminately empowering technological clock?

There are some very brilliant and thoughtful people warning us of the dangers of Artificial Intelligence (AI)3. Is the harnessing, and possible enhancement, of the power of the conscious and unconscious minds from the development of Cognitive Assistants endangering our existence through empowering our dark sides as a result of these linkages? More specifically, should access to some types of Cognitive Assistants be tightly controlled to prevent exploitation by predatory governments, companies, criminals and terrorists?

1 A Very Brief History of Cognitive Assistants ( by Jim Spohrer

2 Help Wanted: Creating a New Era of Computing ( by Jim Spohrer at 2014 AAAI Fall Symposium

3 However, I’m here NOT referring to artificial intelligence “consciousness” (whatever that is)

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