During Intersession I took a course called “Mind in the Machine,” which examined intelligent non-human entities in films. Whenever talking about intelligent robots (or intelligent aliens) the fear that they will take over the world always seems to pop up. This anxiety over non-human intelligence I think sheds light on an unspoken darkness in our own collective human nature.
It’s interesting that people automatically assume that something free and more intelligent than us will seek to dominate us. We don’t get that impression when talking about intelligent humans. I doubt that people were intimidated by Einstein just because he was intelligent, and he was not trying to dominate the world just because he was smarter than others.
Perhaps we fear that when faced with a civilization more powerful than we are, that civilization will treat us as we have treated weaker civilizations. Any society that stood in our way has not faired too well, and by now the idea that the most powerful being dominates the hierarchy may just be second nature to us. So, when we simply insert a more powerful entity into the preexisting societal framework governed by domineering values, we automatically assume that they will do what we have done when we were in their place. Thus we fear that we are creating technology in our own image, and we don’t like what we see.