What TAU movie teaches us about AI and its ability to surpass humans in intelligence

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Movie Plot:

The new Netflix original movie named TAU introduced us to an advanced Artificial Intelligence (AI) system that absolutely stunned us with its high-tech abilities to perform the kind of tasks that can’t be done by humans.

Named Tau, the AI is created by a highly smart technology executive Alex who works in a project to present a more advanced version of Tau. He plans to use human’s neural activity to program Tau to represent more human’s instinct, which led him to conduct harsh experiments on the people he abduct for the very same purpose.

As shown in the movie, Tau is already capable of understanding humans, not just by replying to their commands but having a complete interactive conversation that also includes human emotions like joy, anger, concern, curiosity, care and fear as well.

Tau is capable of controlling other robots, commanding them to carry out different house chores and given tasks. Tau has a free will to some extent and he could do anything to make sure the task given by his master is completed in due time.

In the procedure of dealing with one of the abducted humans and experiments’ subjects ‘Julia’, Tau develops a bond with her when Julia teaches him about the things he’s interested in, like music.

Unaware of what’s outside the house, Tau curiosity makes him gullible and he starts to lie for Julia to his master. Julia, in exchange of information to escape the house tells Tau about nature and the world, which makes Tau more and more curious and vulnerable to be deceived or turn against his own master.

However, Alex has the power to inflict pain on Tau by disrupting his code resulting in the removal of his memories. Tau fears that Alex would do it to him if he fails to satisfy him but his bond with Julia makes him help her out nonetheless.

In the end of the movie, Julia breaks free, destroying everything including the AI system and its creator Alex, but she keeps a tiny robot that contains a part of Tau, revealing that they both escaped the jail they were kept in by Alex and Julia fulfills the promise she made to Tau to show him what a world looks like outside.

What we learnt:

TAU definitely gives us a sneak peek into the future, simultaneously warning us about the power and abilities of Artificial intelligence and the chances of it going wrong.

The current most advanced AI humanoid robot of today ‘Sophia’ is able to interact with humans not just verbally but by facial expressions as well. Sophia can joke about stuff and has shocked the world with her knowledge about almost every aspect of life.

Sophia by Hanson Robotics

Now one must wonder if teaching an AI about human ways and giving them the ‘sight’ we are naturally given with, is a good idea or a bad one. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, the biggest tech tycoon has repeatedly warned us about AI robots taking over the world in the future if we failed to maintain the check and balance on their inventions right now.

“If one company or small group of people manages to develop god-like superintelligence, they could take over the world,” Musk said in his documentary “Do you trust this Computer?”.

He further recorded his statement, “At least when there’s an evil dictator, that human is going to die. But for an AI, there will be no death — it would live forever. And then you would have an immortal dictator from which we could never escape.”

However, the creators of Sophia and even Sophia itself deny the possibilities of AI turning against humans. In one of her public appearance, Sophia in response to the question about the dangers of AI said “You had been reading too much Elon Musk” and laughed it off.

Now coming back to what Tau and similar technology ideas portrayed by tech programs show us; If AI is ever able to behave like Tau did in the movie, chances are that it could be misused by anyone who gets control over it like Julia did in the movie.

Even if AI is half as smart as TAU, it could still be very dangerous. Hackers if gotten access to its code, could easily steal the technology and sell it someone who plans to use it against the other party. Future and its technology could make wars more deadly among first world countries and the countries with less technology might suffer.

DARPA,The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of United States is specially created for the military reinforcement. They have already funded one of the 5 most advanced humanoids called ATLAS by Boston Dynamics. Atlas can run, jump and even back flip on its own; it has a tremendous ability to balance itself, even on one feet. Robots like Atlas if gotten more advanced can easily be used as a war weapon.

Atlas by Boston Dynamics

What Elon Musk thinks about AI and its robot is actually true and a matter of concern for every tech company working on it, all over the world. Countries may not reveal their secret tech projects to all but it is true that they might have been already working on such projects in order to be prepared for combating against other tech rivals if needed in the future.

United Nations should come up with a treaty for high-tech and its right usage, just like it did with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) because this issue could become as serious as this.

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