HUMANS gives me life. I am blown away by the imaginative concepts it creates. The latest is Conscious Transference – the scientific endeavor to transfer a human being’s consciousness to an android. Who would have thunk it?
This concept is introduced in HBO’s “Westworld” via Bernard, the genius behind the adult theme park. His consciousness was replicated and transferred to an android by the evil Ford, who uses him as his spy and right-hand man. It is through this transference that I was able to see how inhumane it is to instill someone’s real dreams, aspirations, pain, and trauma into a robot. Who thinks that s/he has the right to own someone’s experiences? No one has ownership over that, so to have Ford take Bernard’s essence with no qualms spoke to how egotistical and sociopathetic he is.
Dr. Athena is a version of Ford. She might think that she is saving her girlfriend from death, but what makes a person a person is not their lived experiences. It is their live experiences. One is past. The other is present. Also, Dr. Athena is not doing this for her girlfriend. She is doing this for herself. Transferring one’s consciousness is a way to delay the pain of losing someone you love. There is nothing cool or sweet or loving about that. When one finds love, no scientific replication can replicate it. Let’s see how long it takes for her to find that out.
Milo is interested in nurturing the science of it all. He is the innovator being synthetics, and now that conscious transference is the next frontier of that industry, he wants in. He makes it very clear that all of the work she’s been doing on his computers belongs to him. So, if she tried to leave, then anything she has already accomplished on his hardware is no longer hers. Milo is not the nicest guy, so aligning with him isn’t her first choice, but she has to do what she has to do (for her girlfriend). It is interesting that she sees no similarity between her and him. They both have selfish reasons for cultivating the research on conscious transference. I wonder when she will find that out, too.
Let’s stick with the simple idea of conscious synthetics for now. One tries to intimidate Laura. While rushing toward her, he tells her to drop Niska’s case. Mattie’s rescue synthetic, Odi, is forced to shut him down. What the heck was that guy’s problem? He isn’t a traditionally conscious android, but someone was clearly driving him to confront Laura. Niska’s case is a lot bigger than Laura could have imagined. What is threatened if Niska gets a fair trial?
I was reading an article today in “Risk Management Magazine” (Yes, that is a real thing because I work in Risk Management, thank you very much) about self-driving cars. The biggest risk facing them is cyber attacks. Can you imagine being in a self-driving car, chillin’, and then your car starts driving in a direction you did not authorize…and all of a sudden you’re trapped as a person speaks to you through your blue-tooth device…telling you that you will not escape until a ransom is paid? This may sound crazy, but who knows! This could happen.
Who says this can’t happen to synthetics? Has this already happened? Is their consciousness a result of a hack? Or have they been freed from any type of control? Going forward, I have to be sure to remember that they are two different things. But which one is it for them?
Toby tries very hard to befriend Renie, a synthetic peer. She seems rather odd. I can’t tell whether she’s a full-fledged unconscious android or not. She seems to have her own mind, but she’ll make comments like “You’re not my primary user” that make me think she is 100% android. I’m not sure why Toby wants to be her friend so badly. It is puzzling. Does he have a crush on this girl or is he trying to understand the android life? Either way, it’s a little creepy.
Mia seems to be under her primary user’s control. What is this all about? I thought they were in love and yada yada. Now he’s switching her “off” button? All this time I’m ruminating on the dangers of synthetics when I should be concerned about the dangers of humans. HUMANS!
Season 2, Episode 4 (S02E04)
Humans airs Mondays at 10PM on AMC
Jennifer spends her nights writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog.
Jennifer Ford | Contributor