‘Avengers’ stars wary of artificial intelligence
BURBANK, California (AP) — The cast of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” may battle out-of-control artificial intelligence onscreen but in real life, they’re not so sure about cutting-edge technology. The Associated Press talked with the “Ultron” cast about what they embrace and what they fear in today’s high-tech landscape:
ROBERT DOWNEY, JR.
I feel you have to embrace it. You know, there’s always that shadow play that goes on particularly in entertainment where it just goes wild and takes over and all of that stuff. But look, it took over a while ago, metaphorically speaking, just by people who were just strung out on their iPhones. Or I remember ‘Crackberry’ in the early 2000s. ... (As for an Apple Watch) I was just kind of like, it looks kind of small. I like my watch. ... I don’t need another Apple product.
You get into automated artificial intelligence weaponry, which is being developed now. ... Who knows where that’s going to go but it’s not an accident that as (Tesla CEO) Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking come out against artificial intelligence and say, ‘Hey guys, this is scary. We should slow it down,’ that this movie pops up in the collective subconscious of the culture.
I can’t advance with the times. My mother doesn’t even know how to check her messages on her cellphone. Does not know how to text message. So I’m my mother’s daughter. My mom doesn’t have email. ... I like technology for like health improvement. I like technology for how to preserve our planet better. I don’t like technology for quicker information, faster. That’s just too overwhelming.
I love robots. Especially if they can clean up around the house, change nappies and things like that. That’s what I’m excited about. ... I want like talking robots, to tell them my problems and stuff like that. That will be a real plus for me. ... We’re on a slippery slope, aren’t we? You can’t really deny it — the exponential growth in technology is rapidly outpacing our ability to even understand it.
I think it’s all terrifying. I think technology is amazing. I think humans abuse it, personally.
I still can’t figure out how to use my phone. I’m just getting email. I’m just understanding that process. I feel like it’s happening so rapidly and I just can’t keep up with it.
If Elon Musk says it’s the end of humanity, then I’m scared.
I mean, television, for instance, is a very good example. Everyone very quickly decided that the most important thing and the best way to improve our lives was to have three televisions in every home. And the ramifications and the effect of that — the collateral effect of televisions in everyone’s home and children being raised by televisions — on everyone’s culture and society, has proven to be very problematic. And computers, the same.
(Technology) is a double-edged sword, isn’t it? You can 3D print an arm for a kid ... but also you can be cut off from your children. I sit with my children and play, and I hear my phone go ‘beep.’ And even if I don’t go to it, I’m thinking (about it). ... (Wife) Jennifer (Connelly) and I went out for dinner and saw a bunch of girls celebrating graduation ... taking pictures of themselves pretending to have the evening that they weren’t actually having. Because they were just then posting it, and then going ‘Hey we’re having fun!’ And then back to this relationship with (their phones).
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ryanwrd