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How Artificial Intelligence Shapes Our Language

Culture critic Mark Steyn reflects on the Matrix and the red pill, which seems to be everywhere

In the twentieth anniversary year of The Matrix, culture critic Mark Steyn reflects,

Month in, year out, scarce a day goes by that across the transom some fearless Internet commenter doesn’t scoff that Lindsay Shepherd is insufficiently red-pilled or that Douglas Murray and I are still clinging to our blue-pill delusions. I dunno about that, but I will admit to clinging to a certain weariness that, with virtually the entirety of human knowledge no more than a Google click away, all human communication appears to have dwindled down to the same dozen pop-culture references.

Nonetheless, it is an undoubted achievement to have created one of those dozen references and loosed it around the planet. And this one is celebrating its twentieth birthday this very month, introduced to the world in April 1999 in the Wachowski brothers’ second film The Matrix. Neo (played with his endearingly hilarious self-importance by Keanu Reeves) is some computer programmer in an anonymous metropolis who gets his slumbers interrupted by the alleged terrorist Morpheus and offered a choice of pharmaceutical products. “You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill,” teases Morpheus, “and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.”Mark Steyn, “Reaching for the red pill…” at Mark at the Movies

And the world turns out to be a simulation created by intelligent computers. Steyn goes on to note that“All futuristic visions are products of their time… and this one is almost brilliantly attuned to ours.”

See also: Google branches out into politics. Unfortunately, Mark Steyn reminds us, the only political model it would likely know is: one-party state


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How Artificial Intelligence Shapes Our Language