Image courtesy of Sony Pictures

Image courtesy of Sony Pictures

“Chappie” is just a movie, one with idealistic protagonists, a giant weapons corporation flooding the streets with lethal robots, and a one-dimensional villain hell-bent on destroying them in favor of even bigger, scarier robots. But it’s a movie that offers a different perspective on the societal implications of sentient intelligence.

Fink pointed to efforts like the Future of Life Institute in voicing concerns about artificial intelligence and autonomous systems, but he believes the perceived dangers shouldn’t stifle scientific innovation.

“Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and others recently voiced concerns, and I would share their concerns if we were talking about truly autonomous systems, where you cannot predict or control how it will develop,” he said. “Chappie nicely portrays some of the more immediate uses we will see in the coming years—robots in the police and in the military. Chappie itself is a level of autonomy we don’t see yet. It’s a new component, and one that’s both exciting and scary.”