Dr Manhattan has ultimate cosmic powers to view all time at any point, create and destroy matter and shape anything to his will. He’s also incredibly intelligent. His powers render him very inhuman though, like the cyborgs and AIs we looked at in Block 1 – “A live body and a dead body contain the same number of particles. Structurally there’s no discernible difference.” The villain of this story is human, and is regarded as the most intelligent person alive. His schemes come from a desire to save humanity, but are utterly amoral and inhuman.
Is perhaps the fear people have of artificial intelligence coming from the same place? A fear of intelligence rather than the artificial? Is there something that worries people about not being the smartest person in a situation, and not trusting the motives of those they see as more intelligent? The Artificial side of the equation is probably irrelevant up to a certain point. Machines with a limited intelligence don’t seem to worry people – while we can be concerned that data about is is being harvested in some way by Alexa, we don’t generally worry that it will seize control of our appliances and try to take over the world. Once you get towards the Uncanny Valley of the artificial being close to human but not quite there it creeps people out, but possibly once we pass that phase and the artificial seems human, would it be their intelligence that is feared, or would we cease to fear them?