Aaron Paul has real concerns over how people are blindly accepting AI into their lives.
Aaron Paul is not known for being technologically savvy. Remote interviews can be a challenge for the actor, who struggles to get on Zoom calls and get reception from his remote vacation home in Idaho. That did not stop Paul from getting in touch with Rolling Stone to talk about his role in Season 6 of Black Mirror and to discuss his real technological fear: artificial intelligence.
Black Mirror is all about showing the dark side of technology. The anthology series, which just released its sixth season on Netflix, explores a whole host of concepts that can hit eerily close to home.
Aaron Paul has been a Black Mirror fan for some time. The actor had a voice cameo in the Season 4 episode “USS Callister,” but he pleaded with Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker not to let the appearance count him out of another episode. Paul missed out on a Season 5 role due to scheduling conflicts, but the stars aligned for Paul and Brooker with the Season 6 episode “Beyond the Sea.”
The episode features Aaron Paul as an astronaut on a deep space mission in an alternate version of 1969. The story takes wicked dark turns that we will not spoil here, but it is a twisted commentary on human nature and the fear and abuse of technology.
In spite of the dark paths the show takes, Aaron Paul is convinced that AI is scarier than anything in Black Mirror. AI has been a hot topic in the technology world for the past year since the public release of ChatGPT but AI systems have been an integral part of the world for much longer.
Aaron Paul is not all doom and gloom on the subject; he recognizes that AI has positive benefits. It allows people to accelerate aspects of their jobs, and it drives powerful apps that provide valuable services in day-to-day life.
Still, many people, including Aaron Paul, see the rise of AI much like a Black Mirror episode. For the Breaking Bad actor, it is, in part, the blind acceptance of advanced technology that makes it so scary. He explains that there are warning signs all around us, but people continue to willfully go down paths of exorbitant technology use.
Perhaps that is part of why Aaron Paul uses his time away from filming hits like Black Mirror and his upcoming sci-fi/horror film Ash to spend time secluded in the Idaho mountains with his family.
In any case, Aaron Paul has not let fear or lack of understanding of technology stop him from telling great stories about it. In addition to Black Mirror, Paul has starred in the HBO sci-fi series Westworld (which may have inspired his reservations about AI), and Ash will expand the actor’s creepy sci-fi repertoire even further.
Ash follows a woman who awakens on an alien planet. With the crew of her space station brutally killed, she must solve the mystery of their deaths and fight to survive the chain reaction the investigation sets off.
Aaron Paul may fear AI, but he never fears bringing his signature broodiness to the screen. He delivers all the moody goods in his episode of Black Mirror, streaming now on Netflix.