Keanu Reeves: “There Is A Corporatocracy That Seeks To Control Us Through Artificial Intelligence”

If Neo himself, who faced the machines in the Matrix, says so, it must be for a reason.

And it’s not like Reeves is fighting many machines these days. For the past few years, he’s been shooting bad guys in the John Wick franchise, the fourth installment of which hits theaters in March and which is why he was interviewed by Wired.

In the course of the conversation, the actor was asked what he thought about the latest technological advances, especially the controversial artificial intelligence and its future potential to – among other things – replace real Hollywood screenwriters and actors.

A short summary on the matter can be read below:

-Keanu, years ago you put a clause in your contracts that said that your performances could not be manipulated without your consent. It is not like this?

Reeves: “Yes, digitally. I don’t care if someone blinks during an edit. But early on, in the early 2000s, or it could have been the 1990s, I had an acting change (sic). They added a tear to my face, and I was like, “Huh?!” It was like, I don’t even have to be here.”

-And now someone like Bruce Willis has found himself being duped in Russian telecom commercials. As an actor, what do you think of deep fakes?

Reeves: “The frustrating thing about that is that you lose your speech. When you act in a movie, you know you’re going to be edited, but you’re participating in it. If you go into the deep fake realm, it doesn’t hold any of your views. That scares. It will be interesting to see how humans handle these technologies. They are having such cultural and sociological impacts. We are being studied and there is so much “data” about human behaviors now. Technologies are finding places in our education, in our medicine, in our entertainment, in our politics, and in how we wage war and how we work.”

-The Matrix looks more wildly prophetic every day. AI still doesn’t control our lives, but…

Reeves: “[in his best Agent Smith voice] They started making decisions for you. He became our world.

“Once I was trying to explain the plot of The Matrix to this 15-year-old boy, and that the character I played was really fighting for what was real. And this young man was like, “Who cares if he’s real?” People are growing up with these tools: we’re already listening to AI-made music in the style of Nirvana, and there’s NFT digital art. It’s cool, like, “Look what the cute machines can do!” But there is a corporatocracy behind that seeks to control these things. Culturally, and socially, we will face the value of the real or the non-value. And then what are they going to impose on us? What is going to be presented to us?

»It is a control and manipulation system. We are on our knees looking at the cave walls and seeing the projections, and we don’t have a chance to look behind us. Or next door.

-Should I worry about AIs coming after my work?

Reeves: “Corporations don’t mind paying artists. They don’t give a shit. Those who pay you for your art would rather not. They are actively looking for a way to avoid you because artists are deceitful. Humans are messy.”

-And meanwhile, ChatGPT can now write movie scripts that simply combine ideas.

Reeves: “Which is great, because that’s what artists do, right? We take our influences and synthesize them. But what is the intention behind that synthesis?

So far the fragments where the actor refers to artificial intelligence. In other parts of the interview, he also talks about cryptocurrencies, since there is a kind of equivalent in the John Wick movies  — where they are used by hitmen. Given this, Keanu expresses that the idea behind an independent currency seems great to him and that they are “incredible tools for the exchange and distribution of resources.”

Lastly, and on a less anti-Matrix side, the actor mentions that, along with his partner Alexandra Grant, he is involved in a project related to the Metaverse called the Futureverse Foundation. The goal he pursues is “to take this technology that people are interested in and give opportunities to artists with different points of view.”

Source: Wired

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