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James Cameron says the world didn’t listen to Terminator’s warnings

Avatar director James Cameron thinks the world wasn't paying enough attention to the ideas presented in some of the best sci-fi movies such as Terminator.

Robert Patrick as T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Terminator, the film series about Skynet, a ruthless artificial intelligence created by humanity that seeks to wipe out its makers, first came on the scene in the 1980s. Of course, we all know about Terminator and its ideas now, but when James Cameron made one of the best science-fiction movies, its concept of machines with human faces still seemed far out.

Skip to now, and we’ve had Avengers: Age of Ultron, a Bladerunner sequel, and lots of exploration of the idea of AI; its potential uses and catastrophes, and in the best movies about complex subjects like this, a philosophical approach that fictionalizes beyond anything that currently exists in reality.

There are sure to be new movies, as this is a matter on many people’s minds, particularly creatives’ as they fight for fair pay. But Cameron, who is as outspoken as his films are good, says he warned us back in 1984.

He told CTV News he agrees with the so-called godfathers of AI about the need to regulate the technology, which is advancing at a rate few saw coming, “I absolutely share their concern.”

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“I warned you guys in 1984, and you didn’t listen,” he said. “I think the weaponization of AI is the biggest danger. I think that we will get into the equivalent of a nuclear arms race with AI, and if we don’t build it, the other guys are for sure going to build it, and so then it’ll escalate.”

Cameron, who seemingly feels its outspoken critics arent fear-mongering, added: “You could imagine an AI in a combat theatre, the whole thing just being fought by the computers at a speed humans can no longer intercede, and you have no ability to de-escalate.” If this sounds like the plot of a Mission Impossible movie, it’s because it is (Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning – Part One).

For more of the best James Cameron movies, we’ve got a guide on how to watch the Terminator movies in order, a retrospective Titanic review, and a breakdown of the Avatar 3 release date. The director also recently confirmed Alita sequels, so his exploration of technology is far from over.