You've gotta be kidding.


Earlier this week, US president Joe Biden signed a sweeping executive order on artificial intelligence, setting up new directives to keep humanity safe from a number of dystopian doomsday scenarios.

And now, thanks to a recent PBS interview with deputy White House chief of staff Bruce Reed, we've gotten a glimpse of what may have inspired the 80-year-old to sign the new order.

According to Reed, Biden caught up with the latest Hollywood action blockbuster "Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One" at the president's  Camp David country retreat earlier this year.

And, against all odds, the grossly exaggerated depiction of AI seems to have struck a nerve with the aging president.

The Entity

Without risking any spoilers, the movie features an evil AI called "the Entity" that triggers a disastrous sequence of events. The movie is as ludicrously far-fetched as it is fun to watch, an action-packed and borderline nonsensical take on the subject that's rife with cliches.

In short, the movie isn't much more than an enjoyable, smooth-brained diversion — and not a warning about the actual future of AI.

But the movie clearly hit a nerve at Camp David, with Reed, who watched the movie with Biden, recalling in his interview with PBS that "if he hadn’t already been concerned about what could go wrong with AI before that movie, he saw plenty more to worry about."

We're not alone in having some serious reservations when it comes to the "godlike" AI portrayed in the movie. When The Washington Post asked Alex Hanna, director of research at the Distributed AI Research Institute, if the "Entity" is an accurate portrayal of what an AI is capable of earlier this year, she had a straightforward answer.

"No," she said. "It's absurd," adding that its ability to "hack into basically any electronic system" is "pretty ridiculous."

Other than watching an incorporeal AI villain threaten the world with its cyberterrorism campaign, Biden also was shown "fake AI images of himself, of his dog," Reed told PBS. He also apparently "saw how it can make bad poetry."

And if that isn't an impetus to sign sweeping regulations to stop AI from destroying the world, we don't know what is.

More on Biden's order: Joe Biden's Executive Order on AI Is Expansive, But Vague

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