Is Westworld better than Game of Thrones
This week, five digital corporations teamed up to find ethical guidelines for developing and using artificial intelligence. In preparation for the first meeting, the ladies and gentlemen from Facebook, Google and Co. should turn on the television this Sunday: The television series Westworld provides one or the other food for thought on the topic.
Westworld is set in the near future, in a world in which people have already decided what they would like to do with their humanoid robots: sleep with them or shoot them. In any case, this is the main pastime of guests at the amusement park "Westworld", a western town populated by robots that not only look human, but also think they are.
Visitors can move freely in the park and do whatever they want with their expensive time - showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy cite the computer game as a model Grand Theft Auto - be it visiting frenzied ladies in the brothel or chasing bandits. You can do it with robots.
And the marmot greets you every day
Employees bring the broken "hosts", as they are called here, out of the red desert dust into the cool, sterile laboratories under the park. There they are patched, the data deleted and the system restarted. Soon they are hanging around the saloon again to be shot again by tourists. And the marmot greets you every day.
The obvious twist is, of course, that deleting data doesn't really work, that's what happens to them Westworld-Engineers like the computer users at home. The hosts begin to fight back. Westworld but raises further questions: What kind of people are they who want to torment machines that look like people on vacation? “Are you real?” A visitor asks a park employee. "If you can't say it exactly, does it make any difference?" She replies. And when the robots finally fight back: Whose fault is it? The machines that run amok? Or is it not that of the people who messed around with programming?
A great story about artificial intelligence fits in well with this era when machines are delivering packages and self-driving cars are causing accidents. Probably better than in 1973, when the movie Westworld came to the cinema, which provides the template for the ten-hour series, which can now be seen on HBO and in Germany on Sky. The US pay broadcaster HBO, long synonymous with outstanding television, could use a fresh start itself. Whose other series with blood and bosom, game of Thrones, still doing great, but will end in 2018; Thursday was the very last scene for Lena Dunhams Girls turned; the final season of True detective was such a flop that there might not even be a third; and from vinyl, last year's hope, nobody talks anymore.
Also for Westworld the news did not suggest anything good. Originally announced for 2015, production was delayed. And then Jonathan Nolan, regular co-writer of his brother Christopher (Interstellar, The Dark Knight Rises), announced a break shortly before the end of filming to work on the books again.
Is that enough to Westworld to the successor of game of Thrones close?
The four episodes that the press got to see in advance do not show these difficulties. Where the movie was always on the heels of the audience, the series begins with the robot girl Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood), who says good morning to her father and meets her lover (James Marsden) in front of the saloon - he is also a robot. Large parts of the series are told from the perspective of the hosts, which makes it easy for the viewer to take their side and see the actions of the "real" people from a distance.
Where in this Westworld Evil is to be sought is also evident in the figure of the "gunslinger". In the original, Yul Brynner played a black-clad cowboy who hunted down the paying guests. In the new edition, Ed Harris walks murderously through the Wild West - as a person who Westworld has already played through and is now looking for new ways to "kill" hosts with every visit. Meanwhile, the park operators and engineers sit around the godlike creative director and the managing director (Anthony Hopkins and Sidse Babett Knudsen Borrow) in their steel-and-glass command center wondering what's going on.
Whether all of this is enough to Westworld to the successor of game of Thrones close? Yes - as for the amount of violence and naked women. Even if the shootings in the village became instrumental versions of the Rolling Stones sometimes degenerating into a pretty end in itself (camera: Paul Cameron).
Otherwise, television has taught in recent years not to judge too early. In the film, ancient Rome and the Middle Ages appeared as further worlds of experience in the park; there, too, the robots rebelled. Perhaps these scenarios will also be used in the new edition.
HBO's backdrops will soon be free again.
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