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Killer artificial intelligence returns in 'Alien: Covenant'

Associated Press logo Associated Press 5/16/2017 By SANDY COHEN, AP Entertainment Writer
This image released by Twentieth Century Fox shows Michael Fassbender who portrays android David in a scene from "Alien: Covenant." Filmmakers have long projected that artificial intelligence could spell the end of humanity. “Prometheus” director Ridley Scott, who further explores the cunning side of artificial intelligence in his new “Alien: Covenant,” says, “If you're going to use something that's smarter than you are, that's when it starts to get dangerous.” (Mark Rogers/Twentieth Century Fox via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by Twentieth Century Fox shows Michael Fassbender who portrays android David in a scene from "Alien: Covenant." Filmmakers have long projected that artificial intelligence could spell the end of humanity. “Prometheus” director Ridley Scott, who further explores the cunning side of artificial intelligence in his new “Alien: Covenant,” says, “If you're going to use something that's smarter than you are, that's when it starts to get dangerous.” (Mark Rogers/Twentieth Century Fox via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Director Ridley Scott's new film "Alien: Covenant " explores the evil side of artificial intelligence.

FILE - Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, left, attends the FOX Networks 2016 Upfront Presentation Party on May 16, 2016, in New York and business investor Elon Musk arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Feb. 27, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Filmmakers have long projected that artificial intelligence could spell the end of humanity. Musk, an early investor in the development of AI, told Vanity Fair earlier this year that he worries the technology could ultimately “produce something evil by accident,” such as “a fleet of artificial intelligence-enhanced robots capable of destroying mankind.” Tyson believes there’s nothing to worry about. Killer androids may make for fun film fodder, but he doesn’t think they’re an imminent, or eventual, reality. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File) © The Associated Press FILE - Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, left, attends the FOX Networks 2016 Upfront Presentation Party on May 16, 2016, in New York and business investor Elon Musk arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Feb. 27, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif. Filmmakers have long projected that artificial intelligence could spell the end of humanity. Musk, an early investor in the development of AI, told Vanity Fair earlier this year that he worries the technology could ultimately “produce something evil by accident,” such as “a fleet of artificial intelligence-enhanced robots capable of destroying mankind.” Tyson believes there’s nothing to worry about. Killer androids may make for fun film fodder, but he doesn’t think they’re an imminent, or eventual, reality. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

The filmmaker says his latest foray into the "Alien" universe explores the thorny issues of creation, including whether someone could invent an AI that would eventually spell the end of humanity.

In this image released by A24 Films, Alicia Vikander portrays Ava, a pretty-faced android with a killer instinct, in a scene from "Ex Machina." Filmmakers have long projected that artificial intelligence could spell the end of humanity. “Prometheus” director Ridley Scott, who further explores the cunning side of artificial intelligence in his new “Alien: Covenant,” says, “If you're going to use something that's smarter than you are, that's when it starts to get dangerous.” (A24 Films via AP) © The Associated Press In this image released by A24 Films, Alicia Vikander portrays Ava, a pretty-faced android with a killer instinct, in a scene from "Ex Machina." Filmmakers have long projected that artificial intelligence could spell the end of humanity. “Prometheus” director Ridley Scott, who further explores the cunning side of artificial intelligence in his new “Alien: Covenant,” says, “If you're going to use something that's smarter than you are, that's when it starts to get dangerous.” (A24 Films via AP)

It's a concern shared by other top scientists and tech leaders, including Stephen Hawking and entrepreneur Elon Musk.

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows a scene from "Terminator: Genisys," the fifth film in the series created by James Cameron in 1984. Filmmakers have long projected that artificial intelligence could spell the end of humanity. “Prometheus” director Ridley Scott, who further explores the cunning side of artificial intelligence in his new “Alien: Covenant,” says, “If you're going to use something that's smarter than you are, that's when it starts to get dangerous.” (Melinda Sue Gordon/Paramount Pictures via AP) © The Associated Press This image released by Paramount Pictures shows a scene from "Terminator: Genisys," the fifth film in the series created by James Cameron in 1984. Filmmakers have long projected that artificial intelligence could spell the end of humanity. “Prometheus” director Ridley Scott, who further explores the cunning side of artificial intelligence in his new “Alien: Covenant,” says, “If you're going to use something that's smarter than you are, that's when it starts to get dangerous.” (Melinda Sue Gordon/Paramount Pictures via AP)

It's not a universal view, and astrophysicist, author and film fan Neil deGrasse Tyson says he is completely fearless of artificial intelligence.

The author of the new book "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry" says human beings don't understand consciousness well enough to program it into a machine, and without consciousness, robots couldn't become self-aware.

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