When I walked into my local movie theatre to watch Fast and Furious presents: Hobbs and Shaw I was surprised to find out the main antagonists in the film were similar to Elon Musk’s Neuralink (except for the fact that Musk’s organization hasn’t shown an appetite for collateral damage around the world like Eteon). After all, both the fictional and real organization aim to merge humans and machines so that we can better integrate with artificial intelligence and computers. Musk essentially has a liberal interpretation of how something like this will play out while it seems the creators of this movie have a more conservative interpretation. Regardless, many downsides of merging humans with machines is presented. Particularly of note is the fact that the main villain in the movie played by Idris Elba essentially becomes a superhuman maniac compounded by the fact that the Eteon organization is a technology supremacist organization stopping at nothing to eliminate ordinary humans with the snowflake bioweapon in the film.
This film could not be more relevant to our times as Neuralink only recently unveiled their grand presentation and vision of how this technology would play out. Furthermore, an anonymous individual (who will probably be revealed in future installments of the series) basically controls this organization in the film and doesn’t even have the nerve to publicaly show his face. Elba’s character is essentially a tool of this organization and nothing more, although he seems to naively think the power he has gained is his and not some anonymous organizations. A similar situation could arise in real life implementations of merging humans with machines as companies with the patents to these inventions could potentially “own” a superhuman such as the character depicted by Idris Elba. Furthermore, if this superhuman finds out the company’s intention in real life (or if Elba’s character had realized this in the film, which he doesn’t) they could potentially go rogue and answer to no one essentially putting this person in a position to take over key aspects of politics, the economy and society at large. This is not the first time superhuman’s have been written about in fictional movies and T.V shows. In Star Trek (The Original Series), Khan Noonien Singh is a genetically engineered superhuman. The key fact here is that he is genetically engineered and not merely a merger of man and artificial intelligence (although a researcher in China in 2018 was able to discover how to genetically modify a human embryo but his research was limited to make an embryo resistant to HIV). What this researcher did in real life could cause cancer in the baby when it is born due to imperfections that happen when genetic engineering is pursued presently. Regardless, it seems that merging humans with artificial intelligence is more likely to proceed with more progress than genetic engineering, although I would argue that many negative side effects would occur with merging humans and artificial intelligence just as with genetic engineering.
In terms of this topics relation to the film again, Hobbs and Shaw team up to defeat this superhuman and the limits of regular human beings is depicted while also showcasing the unique abilities of normal humans that are just operatives in this case. What makes the film interesting is that this all occurs in the present rather than in some distant future as in Star Trek.
The intent of this post was to inform moviegoers about how this fictional movie relates to real life developments in human research and artificial intelligence as when I entered the films relation to artificial intelligence and Elon Musk’s Neuralink in a search engine, nothing came up.