I am a sucker for science fiction (I think you heard that from me already). This time, I spent my time slouching in front of the TV watching Resident Evil: Retribution.
For those not in the know, Resident Evil is a movie series based off a computer game series. In it, a large (bad) corporation known as “Umbrella Corporation” is delving into bio terror. In this last film of theirs, there’s an AI machine taking over the corporation and running the show – practically killing humans.
I found myself near the end of the film (bored to death), thinking of how can a global corporation gain so much power and collect so much power. From there I thought of who are our current day candidates to becoming our very own Umbrella Corporation.
Here are a few of my candidates:
The obvious choice for me (being an Android guy) is definitely going to be Apple.
To me they have a feeling of a great design company that doesn’t really care about anything else: not its employees, contractors, partners or customers. With a specific and single goal of making more money, they seem rather close to being Umbrella – especially with their domination of the high end smartphone market.
Well… Google is this giant thing in the cloud we use for everything. It starts with search, but those using Google Now usually attest to the level of accuracy it reaches. While Google is a do no evil company, it does seem that the reality is a bit more complicated.
With all the AI going on in Google, they might just be Umbrella corp.
Not an obvious choice, but neither Umbrella corporation…
IBM has two things that fit the bill here, other than the legendary blue attire, that is:
- Watson, which has images that look like the Umbrella corporation data centers
- Their latest research around silicon chips based on the human brain
Like it or not, IBM’s supercomputing is where things like the monstrosities of Resident Evil may find a home.
Once the dominant software company. I remember having references of them in Vernor Vinge’s Rainbows End, where they are buried under layers of higher level operating system related code.
Today somehow this doesn’t seem a reasonable choice – not as the foundation of future applications and probably not as Umbrella. When the game series started though, they might have been the comparison that was made.
This one is a bit less intuitive I guess. The only reason they are here? To Facebook, we humans are the product and not the customer. Similar to how Umbrella corporation works.
Talk about an all-encompassing organization that does things in the shadow. We might end up with a government that becomes Umbrella Corporation instead of having a corporation acting like one.
Now that I pissed off any possible power out there, who would be your candidates?