In anticipation of Sunday's Emmy Awards, this week WIRED staffers are looking back at some of their favorite shows from the past year. One scene from Westworld replays in my head again and again, a little like (I imagine) one of the poor, doomed robots on the show who start noticing and remembering the programmatic loops in their simulated, hyper-violent Old West sandbox game. It's when the android Maeve, played by Thandie Newton, grabs a technician's tablet showing the dashboard for her personality software and, with a deft finger swipe, upgrades herself to genius. Yes, maybe taking control of your life by literally taking control of your life is a teensy bit on the nose. But for me it was the best flicker of weirdness from a show that--again, like its robots--dreamed big dreams.
On Monday at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Elon Musk suggested that humans must merge with machines or become irrelevant in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) age. Musk said, "Over time, I think we will probably see a closer merger of biological intelligence and digital intelligence. In an age when AI threatens to become widespread, humans would be useless, so there's a need to merge with machines," according to Musk. He described his concern of "deep AI" which reaches far beyond driverless cars in what he called "artificial general intelligence". This is when AI becomes "smarter than the smartest human on earth" and he called it a "dangerous situation".