Fox’s long awaited sci-fi drama, Next, has finally made its debut on screen and the new series got off to an amazing start with John Slattery’s Paul LeBlanc delivering a lecture about the potential catastrophic impact of advanced artificial intelligence that would “light the world on fire.”
Fast forwarding to six months later, and a human-level artificial intelligence program escaped the tech company Zava, and all signs point toward the AI wreaking technological havoc. The creator of Next himself, Manny Coto, spoke about the new series, and said that the show is complete with its evil version of Alexa and horror movie inspiration.
The show has introduced Eliza as its own version of Amazon’s Alexa, but a much more evil version of the artificial intelligence infused device.
While not everybody is the biggest fan of Alexa in real life, Next’s Eliza is in a completely different league of its own. An evil, potentially murderous, creepy, ghoul worthy, league, as it happens! The creator of Next, Manny Coto talks about the series, and speaks about using Eliza to open up the spooky side of the story from the perspective of a family.
“Making Alexa kind of evil really, in many ways to me, recalled kind of the old classic ghost story scenario where a family moves into a house and the kid has his or her own room. And the father or the mother is walking down the corridor and hears the kid talking to herself, and opens the door and says, ‘Who are we talking to?’
And the kid says, ‘Oh, well there’s my little friend who comes to visit me every night.’ And immediately you’re like, ‘Oh, holy crap!’ The Alexa scenario, when it happened, in a way, with my son for real, that’s what it reminded me of, that you have something in your kid’s room that has a connection to the outside world that we don’t have a lot of control over.
So it really kind of recalled a kind of a classic ghost story setup, where something is talking to my kid and making him do things that I don’t approve of,” says Manny Coto.
“I mean, I’m also a horror fan and that’s, I think, what really struck me as the great point. When that hit me, that’s really where it became a script that I really wanted to do as a series. Because, like we said, [tech thrillers have] been done before, but that, I had not seen, and I really felt that that was just a great in for a series,” he continues.