Going All-In on A.I.

The minds behind the show get to thinking about artificial intelligence, and our own relationship to machines.

Co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, executive producer J.J. Abrams and the cast of Westworld discuss what it means to be living in a society that’s all-in on artificial intelligence. In Season 1’s exclusive video, “Reality of A.I.” they break down the human-like elements of rapidly changing technology. Here’s what they’re saying about our relationship to machines.

Humans can be savage.

Co-creator Lisa Joy believes a place like Westworld affords human guests the opportunity to cut loose in ways they would never outside the park. “If you’re a host in the park, the savages are the guests,” she says. Thandie Newton, who plays the madam of the Mariposa Saloon, agrees. “If you teach a person to care, they’re going to care. If you teach a person to hate, they’re going to hate,” she asserts.

But you’ll feel for the hosts.

“You have this image of the hosts rising up and taking over the world and it’s still a possibility. But what if, in fact, they could be better than us? Maybe even more peaceful,” posits Evan Rachel Wood, the actor behind Dolores Abernathy, Westworld’s oldest host. J.J. Abrams believes empathy towards Dolores and her fellow hosts is inevitable: “Your heart breaks for these characters who we know are not human….”

How do you treat your machines?

Jonathan Nolan believes man has a one-sided relationship with machines — we want to receive pleasure from them, but they shouldn’t be too smart. “If you play your XBOX and you’re interacting with virtual characters, you don’t think twice about hitting the power button,” he says.

Because you don’t know what your phone is thinking.

Joy believes we’re already living with A.I, via our smartphones. Actor James Marsden, aka “Teddy Flood,” agrees: “With every advancement in technology, to me, it always feels like there’s something darker lurking,” he says.

Season 2 of Westworld premieres April 22 at 9 pm.

Start From the Beginning

Watch the first episode of Westworld for free without an HBO subscription. Co-created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, the genre-defying drama follows the dawn of artificial intelligence and the evolution of sin.