First, full disclosure, I haven’t seen the new Jurassic Park film, so this is specifically about the older film. Also, in a surprisingly related note, it is about the movie Chappie.
I have this theory that the nature of humanity is to irrationally fear those that are different from us. We live in this idealistic world where we think “everyone deserves a chance” and then, when one representative of a group different from our own does something terrible, we file it away under “things people who are different do that make them evil/dangerous/crazy/untrustworthy (etc.)”. Because, when someone of our “group” (however you choose to identify yourself) does something equally terrible, we demand that the label not be applied to everyone. Before I continue, stop for a moment and think about it. Think of the media, and think of current international relations.
That same prejudice is applied to our concerns over technology, or more specifically, automated technology. There is a wide berth of films related to technology and artificial intelligence gone wrong, and I am not going to write a dissertation. I will argue that those films are representative of irrational and unproven fears of humanity that we will create artificial life that will then attempt to take over the planet. I am specifically speaking of films that display functioning technology that only becomes dangerous when acted upon by an outside rational force, in this case humanity.
You see it in both Chappie and Jurassic Park. In Chappie, we have a robotic police force that is highly effective and has been proven to be safe. Straying from the plot line of the title character, I am focusing on the standard robot police officers. They were fine. They were safe. They were supervised robots only programed to take instruction and follow certain algorithms to determine the best and safest course of action.
BUT THEN, an outside force, a human being, interceded and rewrote that program and chaos ensued. How did humanity react?
“NO MORE ROBOTS, OMG. WE CAN’T TRUST THEM.”
Despite the fact that the beings we can’t trust are humans. Had the human been trustworthy, the events that led people not to trust the robots were 100% caused by humans.
Same thing with Jurassic Park. A human intervened, from greed, took down the system and let the dinosaurs loose. Had that not occurred, had the automations not been tampered with, it can be argued that the island would have been safe.
Yes, the dinosaurs are dangerous and we know nothing about them. But, what makes humanity so successful is our ability to learn and adapt. We change as needed, so we could change the processes and hardware keeping people safe from the dinosaurs until more knowledge is acquired, because that is what we have always done with dangerous situations and predators.
The problems of Jurassic Park are caused by humans. The book goes into more detail about the problem of John Hammond, who dreamed of creating the park, but his problems are purely human. He wanted a legacy, he was more concerned with the awe inspiring part of the park than the safety of it. Plus, he was a bit of a nutter. Then, of course, the obvious problem of Dennis Nedry whose greed caused him to let the animals loose.
The one thing our technology rarely takes into account? Human nature. We create failsafes for technological failures, but not for human interactions. We trust the least trustworthy group, humanity. Then, when a human does something to cause a technological failure, we blame the technology.
So, that is why I will totally go to Jurassic Park. I don’t doubt that the park itself would be safe. It’s the people I would be concerned about. I wonder if the Jurassic World movie will explore more of this. I’ll find out soon enough.