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Movies & TV

16th Jul 2023

Christopher Nolan warns that AI is having its ‘Oppenheimer Moment’

Rory Fleming

Christopher Nolan

Nolan drew comparison between the rise of AI and the creation of the atomic bomb.

Christopher Nolan has warned audiences over the use of artificial intelligence (AI) following a special screening of his latest blockbuster release Oppenheimer.

The British director drew the comparison between the rise of AI and the creation of the atomic bomb- the topic of his newest release.

Speaking at the Whitby Hotel in New York City, Nolan expressed his concern when saying;

“The rise of companies in the last 15 years bandying words like algorithm, not knowing what they mean in any kind of meaningful, mathematical sense, these guys don’t know what an algorithm is”.

“People in my business talking about it, they just don’t want to take responsibility for whatever that algorithm does”.

“Applied to AI, that’s a terrifying possibility. Terrifying”, exclaimed Nolan.

Nolan and Irish actor Cillian Murphy attending the London premiere of Oppenheimer. (Credit: Getty Images)

Christopher Nolan on his AI fears:

The critically acclaimed director went on to add that;

“AI systems will go into defensive infrastructure ultimately. They’ll be in charge of nuclear weapons. To say that is a separate entity from the person wielding, programming, putting that AI to use, then we’re doomed. It has to be about accountability. We have to hold people accountable for what they do with the tools they have”.

Oppenheimer, which releases in Irish cinemas this week, details how J. Robert Oppenheimer, who is played by Irish actor Cillian Murphy, was used by the US military to create the atomic bomb during World War Two.

Nolan’s comments are made all the more salient by the fact that the entertainment industry is currently grinding to a halt, with SAG-AFTRA and WAG members heading to the picket lines.

One of these unions’ chief concerns with studios is AI and its threat to jobs in the industry.

Speaking to this, Nolan remarked;

“With the labour disputes going on in Hollywood right now, a lot of it- when we talk about AI, when we talk about these issues- they’re all ultimately born from the same thing, which is when you innovate with technology, you have to maintain accountability”.

“When I talk to the leading researchers in the field of AI right now, for example, they literally refer to this as their Oppenheimer moment”.

“I am not saying that Oppenheimer’s story offers any easy answers… but at least it can show where some of those responsibilities lie and how people take a breath and think, ‘Okay, what is the accountability?'”

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