Faculty Fellow Andrew Maynard, who just published Films from the Future: The Technology and Morality of Sci-Fi Movies, grabbed some popcorn to chat sci-fi and emerging technology with the SETI Institute’s Big Picture Science podcast.
Maynard’s new book uses popular movies – like Jurassic Park, Minority Report, Ex Machina, and more – to explore emerging technologies and ethical issues raised by their development. Artificial intelligence, gene editing, cloning, predictive policing. All of these raise interesting and difficult questions.
These are not just theoretical questions. For example, Maynard talked to podcast hosts Seth Shostak and Molly Bentley about Dr. He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who recently claimed to have created the first human babies genetically modified using CRISPR technology. Dr. He was attempting to engineer HIV resistance into embryos, which were implanted into a woman who recently gave birth to twin girls. He has been widely denounced by the scientific community and is currently under house arrest imposed by the Chinese government.