Doing research into AI for a project, which is part of the reason why I’m so interested in AI art and language as it is pretty much the only AI stuff that I can get my hands on, I have come to believe the biggest threat from AI is the tendency for scientists to ignore who funds their research and why.
I‘m watching the first season of The Expanse, and I enjoy it quite a bit – but it has a trope that has arisen in science-fiction that I want to talk about: Mars.
The exploration of Mars, in many near-future sci-fi stories, is a metaphor for the United States and the stories Americans tell about it: that Mars is a nation that will be freed from the hidebound traditions of Earth and create a new superpower of culture and technology.
The “Mars as the United States” metaphor is a tortured in two key ways. First, the history of the United States is not typical of colonization. Second, the conditions on Mars were not the same as in the North American English colonies.