AI Thriller ‘neXt’ takes a Fearsome Look at Modern Society’s Connection with Technology


The upcoming Fox television series stars John Slattery of “Mad Men” fame.

The coming up next Fox series “neXt” circle around the fictional AI by the same name, which relentlessly pursues self-preservation with no regard for morality, casualties or consequences.

The show feels strangely persuasive. As the human main lead of the series try to take the apathetically dangerous AI offline in the series premiere, which was screened on Oct. 5 at this year’s New York Comic Con — they find themselves up against blind spots that are a result from living in a modern society that relies heavily on digital technology.

Requa said during a panel following the premiere

“We loved the fact that [neXt] wasn’t just a guy twisting his mustache,” “It was like the devil, hiding everywhere … people are feeling like their lives are being monitored now. I mean is there anyone is this room who hasn’t experienced [something] where, you’re talking about a product or a vacation and suddenly the ad shows up on your phone or your computer? I mean, people are getting this sense that they are being listened to and so this idea of having this AI that’s on the other end watching us and using the information it’s gathering to manipulate us … it felt like it was really current.”

Stimulated by reality

This isn’t insanity: in 2018, The New York Times reported that code from a company called Alphonso was computed into over 250 phone apps to hear in for audio that could signify areas of attraction that could be utilized to brief advertisements, all done via the microphone on the owner’s personal device.

Manny Coto, “neXt” creator and executive producer, said…

that the plotline of the new series is also inspired by concerns about the rise of AI that have been expressed by Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk.

Coto wrote episodes for the Fox series “24,” and said that “neXt” would play out at a similar thriller pace.
Paul LeBlanc (John Slattery), a Silicon Valley pioneer and Shea Salazar (Fernanda Andrade), an FBI cyber-crime task force special agent are the characters at the center of the series.

Andrade attended the New York Comic Con premiere and was joined by series actors Jason Butler Harner, Eve Harlow and Michael Mosley. Series director Glenn Ficarra also attended alongside Coto and Requa.