Denis Villeneuve’s

Dune

features a wide range of futuristic applied science, but no supercomputers or intelligent robots of whatsoever kind. While those are staples of many other classic science fiction stories, they’re absent from Frank Herbert’s original
Dune book for some very specific reasons, tied to the history of the milky way. Some of that history is briefly alluded to in 2021’s
Dune
movie, but most of it is glossed over to make room for the more than direct activeness of the film.

Dune
begins in the year 10,191, but the story is fix even farther in the futurity than that number makes it sound. 10,191 refers to the number of years since the establishment of the Spacing Guild, which itself takes place roughly 10,000 years in the time to come. That sets the start of the main
Dune
book franchise at effectually 22,000 A.D. Due to the massive time spring into the future and the various pieces of sci-fi tech seen in the picture, it would brand sense for the world to as well be filled with robots, supercomputers, and artificial intelligence, merely it isn’t.


The reason for
Dune’s
glaring lack of certain traditional sci-fi technologies goes dorsum thousands of years into the history of Herbert’s fictional universe. Thousands of years prior to Paul Atreides’ nascence, humanity developed “thinking machines” – a wide term for all forms of computers and robots capable of human-level intelligence. This engineering eventually evolved into full-fledged bogus intelligence, just that didn’t effect in the utopian society some humans had hoped for.

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In Herbert’s original
Dune
timeline, he briefly describes how artificial intelligence and all other thinking machines were wiped out in a series of devastating wars called the Butlerian Jihad. The original
Dune
novels explain that the fighting started considering of an ideological schism between two factions of humanity – ane that had come to rely on the thinking machines for most aspects of life, and one that believed doing and then was inherently harmful to the human race. The latter group ultimately won, leading to the destruction of all thinking machines and a renewed focus on uniquely human intelligence, manifested in orders similar the Mentats and the Bene Gesserits. Non-thinking machines – computers with very minor capabilities – were still permitted. This legacy of erasing reliance on technology is mayhap best summed up past one of the major religious tenants of Paul Atreides’
Dune
era –
“G shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human being mind.”


The
Dune
prequel novels written by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson change the history of the Butlerian Jihad notably, making it instead a state of war betwixt humanity and an overtly evil AI construct called Omnius. Due to the violent loyalty to Herbert’s books in Villeneuve’s
Dune
movie, it’s reasonable to assume that it’s using the original history of the universe equally its grounding point. Regardless, the effect is the same – humanity has evolved in such a fashion and established its order forth such guidelines that the idea of relying on computers is not just reprehensible, only heretical. Therefore, there are no remaining thinking machines by the events of both the volume and motion-picture show versions of
Dune
.

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