‘Ex Machina’ – 2015

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(stills taken from the movie)

On a recommendation from Paul Granjon the other day, I was told to watch the 2015 film ‘Ex Machina’, as it focuses on ‘the singularity’ and the point in which A.I. ‘gains’ humanity. A fascinating film that focuses on the nature of A.I., and how it is probably more dangerous to create it than not. There are three main characters in the film; Caleb, a young coder within a company behind the world’s most powerful search engine. Nathan, the CEO of the aforementioned company, and the creator of the artificial intelligences within his idyllic, secluded home. As well as AVA, the most recent A.I. in a long line of different personalities and minds that Nathan has created. Nathan informs Caleb that he is there for the week to initiate a Turing test, in which he will be the ‘human’ half, and AVA is the ‘robot’. Strangely, the test is often utilised to convince the ‘human’ that who he is talking to is another human, therefore proving that the robot can deceive, or intrinsically believes, that it is a human. This level of interaction between the two characters is explored later in the film, as Caleb begins to fall in love with AVA, and seemingly, AVA begins to fall in love with him.  Nathan asks Caleb ‘Can consciousness exist without interaction?’, and therefore, promotes the fact that to truly test the A.I. of a machine, we must interact and learn how it works as well. There is an overarching theme of evolution and transcendence throughout the film, as well as Nathan’s role as the ‘creator’. Often times, he speaks about AVA for what she is on a physical level; a machine, yet as we watch her character develop throughout the film, and gain more knowledge about her, we soon come to realise that she does in fact seem to have a consciousness; and the line between man and created consciousness starts to blur so much that we are not quite sure who is the ‘antagonist’.

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Nathan take son a sort of ‘fatherly’ role to both the other two main characters, and appears arrogant and proud; yet is a severe alcoholic. He often remarks about the nature of ‘the creator’, and the role of being chosen; hinting at an insanity and god complex within him that causes him to appear outwardly thoughtful and arrogant, yet deeply troubles him. As one would be if they were to take on the role of their creator, Nathan is a little ‘tapped’ in the head, as well as because he is living in complete isolation. His understandin gof coding and the machines that he creates is undeniable, yet he does not know whether to let them free; as he sees them as cold and calculating (he designed them that way). Caleb, however, falls in love with AVA, and lets his emotions drive him to help her escape. Yet, it is all in vain; as her primary goal was to utilise any way possible to escape, she uses him, much like you would use a machine, to escape, leaving him to die, locked in the subterranean labs that are under Nathan’s home. The film is a thriller, and it certainly caused goosebumps to rise up on my skin; as we are so close to the creation and formation of A.I. within our society; and it will inevitably be our downfall.

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