The latest original series from Home Box Office (HBO) Westworld, has introduced a retro-futuristic concept into fans with only four episodes in. Image Source: HBO

HBO’s original series Westworld has premiered only four episodes, but the show already has fans speculating about what’s next. Based on Michael Crichton’s 1973 film of the same name, the western sci-fi drama depicts a robot-hosted futuristic amusement park called Westworld.

High-paying Westworld guests or newcomers can do whatever they wish inside the park, including all the sex and violence they can handle. As an added bonus, visitants don’t have to fear retaliation from the park’s synthetic androids, known as hosts. 

Initially, the show is all about visitors riding, terrorizing, killing, and raping the android hosts. However, Westworld’s game designers soon realize something is wrong with hosts as some began to show consciousness. Along the four episodes, scientific and philosophical questions also begin to pop up about the interaction of artificial intelligence and people.

With six episodes remaining from Season 1, Westworld still has a long way to go. However, this hasn’t stopped viewers from making up theories.

Is there any escape from the Matrix-like Westworld other than death?

Similar to the Matrix, Westworld introduces a pre-designed world simulating an alternative reality with an old western fashion. However, people pays to visit the retro-futuristic park for a chance to be whoever they want and do as they please. Unlike The Matrix, where people live in a simulated reality, oblivious to the dark truth. 

Instead, fans believe they could escape from Westworld by noticing any errors or glitches in the system developed by the designers. In the series, the robots seem close to discovering such anomalies.

As of right now, the only way out  of Westworld appears to be death. But others, such as the Man in Black (Ed Harris), aren’t very fond of that theory. He is looking for a “deeper level” in the park that could solve the problem of dying.

There are strong suggestions that mind uploading may be the key to immortality. So the Man in Black could follow the steps of Johnny Depp in Transcendence and upload his consciousness into a machine.

What will happen if robots fully develop free will?

From ‘I, Robot,’ (either Isaac Asimov’s short-story collection or Will Smith’s movie), to the Terminator film series, a question always lingers: will they turn on their creators?. It seems like every single time humans create robots with artificial intelligence in movies, it doesn’t end well for humankind. 

In Westworld, the real question is ‘when they will turn on their creators?’, rather than ‘if.’ And most humans watching the show are certainly rooting for the robots, as the park brings out the worst of people. Many people in the park are so despicable that is only logical.

Guests can do pretty much whatever they want to hosts, including rape, fight, and even murder. Nonetheless, the memories of the robot hosts are wiped clean overnight, to ensure no retaliation against customers ever occurs. However, more and more hosts begin to remember disturbing past experiences for some reason, as the series develops.

It may have something to do with a software update from Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins). Or it could be related to the park’s mysterious co-founder Arnold. Whatever the reason is, Westworld’s androids are apparently evolving from what they were originally programmed to do.

Arnold gave robots improvisation and self-interest. In addition to the memory issue, if the hosts fully develop free will, they could start harming hosts in retaliation or simply for fun like humans do.

Source: Business Insider‎