During a press conference for his new six-part TV series, AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, Mr. Cameron discussed the new angle that the new Terminator film would explore…
“‘Terminator’ films are about artificial intelligence, and I would say that we are looking at that differently than I looked at it when I made, when I wrote the first story in 1982,” he says. “That was just a classic kind of ‘technology bad, smart computers bad’ kind of thing. It’s got to be a much more nuanced perspective now, I think. And hopefully we’ll show that. So ‘smart computers bad, but…’ is the new motif.”
Science fiction itself has always been pretty good at predicting the direction of the human race regarding technology; while we might be light years away from cracking the Time Displacement Equipment (TDE)- let’s face it that might never happen, James Cameron’s Terminator movies did predict a few things…
The Neural Net
SkyNet’s version of the internet connects every Terminator machine to one source… SkyNet itself, which, yes, wasn’t that original since it is a somewhat explored narrative in Sci-Fi films that pre-date the first Terminator movie,- but today we have multitudes of devices and machines all hooked up to the internet. Even the last Terminator movie explored the concept with a killer app called Genisys, but it failed to delve into the idea deeply or darkly enough for it to have an eerie enough impact as a social commentary; instead we got trapped in Kyle Reese’s nexus childhood visions with alternate life memories as a condescending expository tool for audiences not paying attention or those that had awakened from a 5 minute nap in the theater.
Real Terminators That Exist Today
“Why attack Russia? Aren’t they our friends now?”
– John Connor (T2: Judgment day)
Terminators could potentially exist one day… wait they already do… ? Oh yes, Russia is already deploying them off the conveyor belt to go into war as we speak. Yes, they might not be Cybernetic Organisms but instead tanks and helicopters which have taken on the name of TERMINATOR.
Terminator/Terminator 2 – BMPT-72 or T-90
Like the Ground HK Tank in the Terminator movies, these killing machines patrol the land as a Tank support vehicle. The Terminator is built on the chassis of a T-72 or a T-90 but gets rid of the main gun and swaps it out for two 30mm guns, a large-caliber machine-gun and Ataka-T anti-tank missiles.
Yes, it might not have dual phased plasma weaponry or be fully autonomous (no pilot) but this is as lethal as it comes for the wars of today and can subdue any on coming attack. While the machine is currently only a concept; it is very near to being mass exported and sold by Russia and used on the battlefield any time it is decided upon.
Like the flying HK units in the future battle between man and machine these Helicopters recently carried out an exercise against simulated targets and was expressed by Vladimir Putin as warning to those that would seek to launch further attacks upon Russian forces. What weapon does this utilize? Well, they pretty much fire missiles mini gun style.
Drone technology is very current and accessible to the world, film studios are using them to catch unique visual sequences, police are using them as surveillance to deter neighbourhood crime and Youtubers strap action cams to them to make picturesque videos for their channels,- but the military continues to have huge designs on them.
Just like the Mini-HK Terminators seen in Universal Studios Terminator 2 3-D: Battle Across Time theme park attraction or the Aerostats we briefly met in Terminator Salvation, it has become a startling reality that drone warfare and utilization has been a real thing for some time and will continue in the long-term.
Predator Drones, unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAV) and drone strikes are now commonplace in the battlefield… if you see a drone or any type of vehicle with no driver… RUN?!
All these things need is the power of self-awareness but it all starts with commands or control from humans and the rest just a case of technological evolution.
How far are we away from humanoid style battle infantry? If any of our users follow the advancements of Boston Dynamics; it can’t be that far away, it will only be a matter of time before we have skin and hair grown in labs and we won’t be able to tell the difference… but one thing is for sure- we can pretty much predict that they won’t be programmed to carry out acts of kindness.
How close are we to creating The Terminator? Closer than we were in 1984 when the first Terminator movie was made. If anyone has an interesting angle to explore regarding technology in the new Terminator then James Cameron is the one to do it.