The ‘Bicameral Mind’ Explains What’s Next for ‘Westworld’

The idea that technology inevitably mimics — then trumps — evolution is, on first blush, the subtext of HBO’s new hit show Westworld. This makes the prestige science fiction drama zeitgeist-y as hell. At the dawn of the age of artificial intelligence, the public is used to hearing from neural net weavers and Judgment Day prophets claiming that robot self-awareness is a few software updates away. But what makes the show fascinating and unexpectedly subversive, is that its allusions to cutting-edge research seem to have been — to a degree — an intellectual smoke screen. Fans just got a peak through that haze in episode three, “The Stray,” when Dr. Robert Ford [Anthony Hopkins], the show’s modern Prometheus, name checked Julian Jaynes’s theory of the “Bicameral Mind.” For an instant,…


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