“Prey” by Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton, the author of “Prey,” commented that things never turn out the way we think it will. Crichton is giving us a warning to the world about modern technology and how dangerous it might become. In the not too distant future, someone might create a device or a robot with artificial intelligence that is too smart for humanity and can’t be controlled. In this book, Xymos Technology accidentally creates a swarm of nano-cameras that can “think” for themselves. The swarm was supposed to be used for good, but the swarm ended up turning on the people.

The scientists at Xymos keep trying to fix the swarm instead of killing them because they don’t want to destroy their years of hard work. Crichton is making the argument that this mentality of wanting to preserve one’s life work would make them vulnerable from a catastrophic mistake that could threaten humanity. He thinks their pride and desire to succeed will cloud their vision when the time comes to let go of their work if it gets too dangerous.

Like most things made, the swarm was meant to be used for good. The swarm was intended for medical treatment. Drones fitted with cameras would be injected into a patient to take pictures. However, something went wrong. The swarm didn’t take pictures of the inside of the person like it was supposed to. Instead, it killed them.

Crichton fears that scientists could easily lose objectivity and common sense when it comes to the dangers of their life’s work. In the book, Xymos Technology gives the swarm too many dangerous qualities that made them able to reproduce and adapt to situations. The scientists didn’t think about the consequences. They were trying to save their company and that instinct for self-preservation blinded them.

The warning Crichton gives to the world is to tell people to take technology seriously because one of these days, scientists will create something that could threaten our survival. However, Crichton believes that if people take small, calculated steps with technology, we can avoid creating something dangerous.

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