Manny Coto Fox Series ‘NeXt’: Why We Should Really Be Afraid Of A.I. – TCA

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One of the inspirations for Manny Coto’s Fox series NeXt came from his son’s Alexa: The device, out of the blue, began talking at 3AM one night.

“He claimed it happened a couple of times, but we never got down to the mystery. These things have a mind of their own even though we have five of them in the house because the kids won’t let me get rid of them,” said Coto who also submerged himself in a number of scientific books, many off Elon Musk’s theories, about the looming fears of superintelligence and how it could potentially turn against us.

John Slattery, Fernanda Andrade and Jason Butler Harner in ‘Next’ Fox

The series, which looks to hit the network in May, focuses on one serious A.I. which is hellbent to destroy the lives of those trying to stop it. John Slattery, Fernanda Andrade, Jason Butler Harner, Eve Harlow and Michael Mosley star.

Coto billed the first season, which takes place over two weeks, as a “manhunt” in which the “AI knows everything about the people around it, but is attacking them through their personal lives and careers, so they can in turn not attack it.”

“It’s a manhunt without a man with a ticking clock that isn’t sure either, but this thing gets exponentially smarter,” adds the creator at TCA today.

The fact that it’s another compressed timeline series like 24, which Coto served as EP, “is coincidence. 24 was a nightmare to keep the continuity together and this is a challenge as well. But I’ve seen the first batch of episodes and I’m really pleased.”

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“If an AI outbreak happened, it would occur quickly; there’s no time for pensive thought,” said Coto during the

“We’re dealing with a super-intelligence with access to incredible amounts of information, adds Coto. And it’s not the “high concept usage of AI that’s the most frightening” says star John Slattery, but “the mundane” as it accesses information about people that’s readily out there on mobile devices and in clouds.

And just like the actors who play villains, this AI isn’t inherently bad. He just has an impartial purpose in its mind.

Says Coto, “The AI in this show isn’t evil in its own mind, it’s following the programming it was given and not self aware or self conscious.”

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