Documentary ‘Do You Trust This Computer?’ free to stream courtesy of Elon Musk

A new documentary from the director of Who Killed the Electric Car? is now available to stream for free this weekend, courtesy of entrepreneur Elon Musk. Do You Trust This Computer? explores the rise of artificial intelligence in all aspects of modern society, and features commentary from industry figures such as Stanford University professor Jerry Kaplan, director Johnathan Nolan, and journalist John Markoff. The film premiered recently at the Laemmle’s Monica Film Center in Los Angeles.

“[Director] Chris [Paine] and his team have done an amazing job with this movie. It’s a very important subject that will affect our lives in ways we can’t even imagine — some scary, some good. It’s a subject that I feel we should be paying close attention to,” said Musk in an announcement. “I think it’s important that a lot people see this movie, so I’m paying for it to be seen to the world for free this weekend.”

Musk, who has a rather dark outlook on the future of artificial intelligence, is one of the many prominent figures interviewed by director Chris Paine. He cautions that evil tyrants of the past were limited by the fact they were human, a problem not shared by intelligent supercomputers. “You would have an immortal dictator from which we can never escape,” he says in the film.

Science fiction has certainly embraced that philosophy, as some of the most sinister villains in the genre have been artificial intelligent entities run amok.

Musk says that we need to assimilate machine learning before we get overtaken by it. That’s the premise behind Neuralink, a startup venture that wants to implant chips in people’s brains.

Nolan, one of the creators of HBO’s Westworld, has a more nuanced take on the subject. When Nolan shared the stage with Musk at a South by Southwest Q&A session last year, he said some of Musk’s fears were overblown, and he had no plans for a chip implant. “I’m keeping my brain air-gapped,” Nolan quipped.

After the free premiere weekend, the film will be available to purchase or rent at the company’s website, as well as through various streaming video providers.

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