Man is a fire-stealing animal, and we can't help building machines and machine intelligences, even if, from time to time, we use them not only to outsmart ourselves but to bring us right up to the doorstep of Doom.
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Over and over again, financial experts and wonkish talking heads endeavor to explain these mysterious, 'toxic' financial instruments to us lay folk. Over and over, they ignobly fail, because we all know that no one understands credit default obligations and derivatives, except perhaps Mr. Buffett and the computers who created them.
And it was back in the mid-1980s, and as I point out in a piece, that was when we are spending about eight percent of our gross domestic product on health care. And even then, we had the impression that so much of the excessive, aggressive medical treatment that took place at the end of life was not only unnecessary but it was cruel.
The first thing I became interested in in terms of 'Brain Storm' was neuroscience, and that is like saying you're interested in the universe. So ultimately I knew if I was going to handle this in a fictional format, I would have to take a subsection of neuroscience, and that turned out to be the use of neuroscience in criminal courts.
The most interesting character to me is someone who is stuck in the no man's land between Belief and Unbelief, Faith and Faithlessness. I'm capitalizing like a German, but it doesn't matter whether it's faith in a person or in God, or belief in science or whatever, it's the desperate in-between state that makes for interesting dramatic tension.
We are still fearful, superstitious and all-too-human creatures. At times, we forget the magnitude of the havoc we can wreak by off-loading our minds onto super-intelligent machines, that is, until they run away from us, like mad sorcerers' apprentices, and drag us up to the precipice for a look down into the abyss.