Westworld creator reveals ‘frightening’ hidden meaning behind the season 3 AI system’s name – The Sun

THE creators of sci-fi drama Westworld have shared the grim meaning behind the new artificial intelligence (AI) system.

Season three saw the introduction of Rehoboam, the latest AI system in the HBO drama.

As fans know, names in Westworld are not given to characters without further meaning or symbolism attached.

Rehoboam has a roots in a Biblical meaning – he was the son of Solomon and grandson of David – and the first king of
the Kingdom of Judah.

But Jonathan Nolan who co-created the series with his wife Lisa Joy admitted they did not choose the name for its religious symbolism.

He told Insider: "Well I spent nine years in Catholic school, but I'm ashamed to say it has actually nothing to do with the biblical reference.

"It's an homage to a book called 'Stand on Zanzibar,' which is a seminal piece of science fiction. It's an absolutely terrific and frightening book."

The Hugo award winning book is indeed a frightening tale which follows an executive at a company called General Technics in lives in a place "where society is squeezed into hive-living madness by god-like mega computers, mass-marketed psychedelic drugs, and mundane uses of genetic engineering."

Jonathan explained that the book symbolised a change in trends of how science-fiction stories were told.

He said: "That was a period in science fiction when we'd got out of utopian science fiction and into much more frightening imaginings about where the world might take us."

The book also inspired the idea to name AI system's after historical kings, but also the fact its AI system – Shalmaneser – dominates the General Technics building.

Jonathan said: "Shalmaneser is literally in the lobby of the General Technics incorporation — an idea that I love.

"And that's the reason why Rehoboam is in the lobby of Incite. It has this delicious subversive idea to it — that they would put this thing in full display, that they would put it right there."

The Westworld co-creator explained it is the complete opposite of how real-world tech giants such as, Facebook and Google operate.

He said: "So much of what [companies like] Google or Facebook does is in part hidden by design, because it requires thousands of diesel generators or a hydroelectric plant. All of that hardware is out of sight.

"With the advent of quantum computing — and Rehoboam is a quantum computer — we will come to a moment where you don't hide the hardware anymore.

"This is just good PR. You put it front and centre and you let school kids literally walk around it, right?"

In the latest episode, Genre, Rehoboam co-founder Engerraund Serac (Vincent Cassel) is left furious after Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) reveals its humans that are stuck in routines they cannot break after Rehoboam uses its power to predict and then mould future events based on people's data.

Westworld continues on HBO on Sundays in the US and Mondays on Sky Atlantic and NowTV in the UK.

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