The original Westworld was released in 1973. It was first feature film to use digital image processing, which was leveraged to simulate cyborg perception.

Initially the director, Michael Crichton, consulted with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the special effects; however, he was told that the two minutes of footage would cost two hundred thousand dollars and require nine months to produce. He turned to John Whitney, Sr., who was known for his experimental animations made from military-surplus analog electronics and motor assemblies. Whitney referred Crichton to his son, John Whitney, Jr., who completed the digital image processing within a more reasonable budget.

The resulting representation of cyborg consciousness was highly aggressive, referencing military technologies such as sonar and infrared homing.

Almost half a century later, cyborg consciousness has been reimagined in the serial adaptation of Westworld. Unlike the two minutes devoted in the film, over three hours of the first season focuses on Dolores, the cyborg protagonist. She is a much more complex sentient being. Even her name invokes multiple archetypes of female subjugation and pop-culture stories of agency and empowerment.