For anyone who has had the ability to enter the contextually sound and stunning universe of Horizon Zero Dawn, the sheer realism of the world around you is enough to make your jaw drop. However, with realism and a rather morbid plot to match, it can be hard not to wonder whether or not our civilization is in for a Zero Dawn Project as well. Up until now, most would entirely deny this factor to be a possibility whatsoever and, yet, with the rise of the Internet of Things and AI, our world’s end may be closer than we think.
The IoT has been getting some pretty mixed reactions since it began to be implemented in potentially life-threatening situations. With the utilization of the IoT for automated cars, traffic lights, and even water supplies, the potential of a hacker being able to do physical damage continues to rise. In Horizon Zero Dawn, an army of Peacekeepers (basically killing machines) go rogue and, due to their ability to make more of their kind using old metal scraps and junk, the world is forced to participate in the Zero Dawn project.
The whole story line of the ‘old ones’ circles around greed, mass production, AI, advancements in technology turning on the human civilization, and regret. Unfortunately, these same advancements and lusts can be seen blatantly in our world, which makes for a rather chilling comparison between the destroyed past of HZD and our future.
With AI being programmed into our own cell phones and cars, it is only a matter of time before this technology successfully passes the Turing test and proves its ability to feel human emotions on a more complex scale. However, past AI has proven that when given the ability to think freely, it has chosen hate and anger over compassion and love. With Microsoft’s AI chatbot turning racist and aggressive, there is still so much more work to be done and, even so, the likelihood of this AI technology connected to the IoT turning on us is still fairly high.
So, how can these hackers turn our modern technology against us? It all stems from data breaches. For instance, an unsecure SSL or an SSD that has not been re-formatted correctly could lead to massive data breaches similar to the Mirai malware attacks on Krebs on Security and DNS service provider, Dyn, from last year. Despite this, the race for AI rages on and the lack of security in these modern devices simply to produce them faster is shocking.
In fact, it’s not just a race anymore and the outcome is not simply breaches any longer either. The companies that stand at the forefront of modern technology consider this push forward a battle to the death, and the winner ultimately remains the one who cheats the most in it all. Because of this, people have lost their lives to machines with weak security, software, and hardware raising the question of whether or not these kinds of accidents could lead to a human genocide in the future.
No matter what occurs in time, we can rest assured knowing that Horizon Zero Dawn remains one of the most sound representations of the bleakest future humanity has to offer and, in this, we can try to potentially counteract these effects before it is too late. Perhaps a Zero Dawn project is not, in fact, oin our horizon and the popularization of the Dystopian genre is what led to this eery plot of human annihilation. Whatever the case, it is still something we must keep in mind as we continue to push forward in the magical world of modern technology and pioneer AI and the IoT together. In the end, the question isn’t whether or not our civilization will fall but, rather, when and furthermore, can I be a Nora Matriarch? Please???