The Rise of the Machines

Terminator’s Skynet and OpenText Core: I’ve recently identified some striking similarities between the two……the question is should we be concerned?

I love the Terminator films and their depiction of technology running amok in the future. Of course, it’s horrifying to think about what could happen if physical machines controlled by one central system turned against humans, but – as a tech-head – it’s also fascinating to consider the technology behind it, and compare that to where we sit today. Just for fun, in this blog let’s explore some of the parallels between the fictitious Skynet and OpenText Core.

Skynet vs. OpenText Core
In the Terminator films, Skynet is a Global Digital Defence Network, one which eventually achieves self-awareness and begins a nuclear war. Yes, markedly different from OpenText Core, which allows business users to manage, access, and share information and collaborate from any device..….unless, that is, you consider it from a pure “knowledge is power” perspective.

With hundreds of thousands of people uploading critical business information into one central system, imagine the combined knowledge that’s stored in OpenText Core. What secrets could it hold? What power could it give anyone, or anything that’s capable of mining it for its value? Ok, and back in the real world now, we call this capability “Analytics”, and it’s a big focus for us and our customers today, and likely to be even more so in the future.

Constantly Evolving
Like the liquid metal T1000 Terminator, which learned from the previous generation of Arnie-style T800 Terminators, OpenText Core is evolving. Built on 25 years of OpenText leadership in information governance and compliance, Core is seamlessly integrated with OpenText Content Suite.

It has been built from the ground up to function as a next generation, cloud-based ECM service and is continually evolving – partly based on feedback in user forums to ensure it keeps getting better and better. After being available for only a year, Core has already had 12 updates to enhance its power.

Difficult to Destroy
If human resistance fighters (or, perhaps more likely, a natural disaster) were able to locate the source of OpenText Core and destroy it, they’d be sorely disappointed to find that Core would just carry on as normal. If you destroy one node it will instantly “heal” (just like the liquid metal Terminators!).

With Core, physical hardware duplication in multiple hosting sites would simply and seamlessly route the information and administration through another node. Core has never gone offline. Core is self-healing and always available.

Postscript – to save you the effort of leaving a comment to highlight the flaws in my arguments here, I’ll point out a few inconsistencies now below:

  • To allay fears, it is indeed impossible for any one source to access all the information stored in Core. It’s securely encrypted and managed in completely separate tenants for each customer, so, in truth, it wouldn’t form the best source of centralized human knowledge for AI to farm. Besides, we all know the internet itself would be an easier source of information for AI to turn machines against humans.
  • Core is built for business, so the information it holds would be more about corporate knowledge and intellectual property than matters of national defence. Truth is, I can’t see the collaborative efforts of Company X’s marketing department being all that detrimental to mankind’s survival.
  • In the film series, it all started to go wrong for humans on August 29, 2003, when Skynet became self-aware. I’m not sure when Core will become self-aware and it’s currently not on the development roadmap, but who knows – maybe that feature is being held back for a big announcement at Enterprise World in July.

So, yes, there are a few leaps in both faith and logic in my argument – but this was all just a bit of fun. We all know this could never really happen. Right?

George Harot

George is a Product Marketing Director for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions, based in London, UK.

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