Today is August 29th. Nothing special about that, per say (unless it’s your birthday or a special anniversary of some sort, in which case many happy returns or appropriate congratulations/ condolences!). It’s not like it’s Christmas Day, or even something generally lesser celebrated like A Solstice/Equinox, etc. . Hang on, it is a very special day . . . At least it is for fans of The Terminator film franchise. For us lot we get to celebrate escaping the version of the future (now the past – it’s okay time-travel’s weird anyway and will scramble your head) where Skynet becomes self aware. It happened at 2.14 a.m. EDT, August 29th 1997. Many people will point out that it “happened” in the movie world. Boring! We know that Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), her son John Connor (Edward Furlong) and the reprogrammed T-800 (Arnold Scharzenegger) prevented it, in the events of Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991). And of course we can’t forget the brave sacrifice of Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn) in one of the greatest films ever made, The Terminator (1984).
There were three other offerings after T2: Judgement Day that we don’t talk of, as they were generally poor. It wasn’t until last year that Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) gave us the next installment of the original two movies, ignoring the others. That wasn’t a terrible film, as discussed here on Sci-fi Pulse, by yours truly. Nowhere close to the original brilliant duo, but much better than previous installments. Skynet failed again in that movie, but something replaced it. So, we’re safe then, at least for now; or, are we?
At 3p.m. PT August 28th 2020 (this is real, by the way) Elon Musk’s Neuralink firm is going to reveal a “big announcement”. It’s something to do with planting microchips (not small potato products) into the human brain and being able to achieve unprecedented results. There’s plenty of reputable sources available out there to tell you all about the science of it. I’m far from qualified so I won’t even try. I just couldn’t help but notice that it’s the day before Skynet becomes self-aware! What better way to commemorate what would have been the beginning of oblivion by cybernetic overlords? Could Musk really be a real-life Miles Bennett Dyson? Dyson (played by the wonderful Joe Morton) builds Cyberdine Systems, the computer framework that helps Skynet to almost entirely wipe out humanity. How much of a possibility that any such thing might actually happen is a subject best left to the many learned scholars in their relevant fields, such as computational neuroscientists. There are many books on the subject. Also, being wiped out by a super Artificial Intelligence does regularly make the top five of ways that a Doomsday Scenario might pan out, or how the human race will become extinct/be replaced.
These days, even discussing such a link between the two requires an absolute declaration that no genuine claims are being made about anything. As stated, I know nothing about the science, and how it works. Sci-fi Pulse is not accusing Elon Musk or Neuralink of anything. We don’t even understand it; this is a bit of fun and should be read as that! With so much fake news, hoaxes and more conspiracy theories out there than the best computer available could probably count, sadly, you have to state “this is satire”. Of course, once Neuralink goes live and we’re all cyborgs by tomorrow don’t say you weren’t warned! As long as they don’t get to Arnie (who was celebrated yesterday in my weekly feature “May the Verse be With You”) he can rescue us. We should be fine. Happy Death Day Skynet!
* No apology for plugging my two previous articles. If this is the last day we’re all humans, then it might be the last chance you have to catch them, dear readers. I’m thinking of you, honestly!