It’s no secret that most science-fiction films about artificial intelligence end up being horror stories about AI. The investigation of the hazards and unintended repercussions of seemingly good technology and other human accomplishments is a central component of the science fiction genre. Robotics, artificial intelligence, and other related advancements are perennial themes in science fiction, particularly in film. As machine and software intelligence becomes more common in everyday life, it’s difficult not to recall the teachings of AI movies.
While uncontrolled technology like ChatGPT is still in its early stages, AI is already a separate industry. Furthermore, it is a disruptive force comparable to the early days of the internet. It is currently hard to forecast how society’s rising reliance on AI-based technology and platforms will play out. If science-fiction movies and books are used as a guide, it’s evident that the powerful technology isn’t something that its creators completely comprehend. From the treacherous HAL 9000 supercomputer in 2001: A Space Odyssey to the titular, AI-imbued doll in M3GAN, artificial intelligence on screen usually bodes disaster for the human characters.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Stanley Kubrick’s magnificent 2001: A Space Odyssey has one of cinema’s most well-known images of artificial intelligence gone bad. The film, adapted on Arthur C. Clarke’s books, delves into the concepts of time and evolution to investigate the basis of human existence. Aside from the iconic ending, one of the most recognizable features of 2001 is HAL 9000, a sentient artificial general intelligence computer in charge of overseeing the systems on the Discovery One.
HAL is initially a reliable member of the spacecraft’s crew, but the AI begins to fail and turn on its human counterparts. Despite the astronauts’ efforts to discuss HAL’s faults in private, the computer reads their lips, recognizes the impending danger, and begins murdering off the astronauts to ensure the success of its mission directive. 2001: A terrifying image of man vs. machine Outside of AI, A Space Odyssey covers a lot of material, but HAL will always be recognized..
Ex Machina (2014)
Ex Machina, a sci-fi psychological thriller written and directed by Alex Garland, follows a programmer who travels to his eccentric CEO’s distant estate to conduct the Turing test to an AI-imbued humanoid robot. The so-called “imitation game,” invented by physicist Alan Turing in 1950, assesses a machine’s ability to demonstrate intelligence, determining whether it is equivalent to human behavior. The clinical, minimalist style of Ex Machina adds to the film’s unsettling mood, but it’s Alicia Vikander’s AI robot Ava who gives the biggest chills. As a modern-day Frankenstein story, the film allows you to sympathize with and fear Ava.
Demon Seed (1977)
Demon Seed is a cult classic science fiction/horror film based on Dean Koontz’s novel of the same name. The film, directed by Donald Cammell, investigates not only the nature of artificial intelligence, but also the right to physical autonomy. In brief, a lady is imprisoned and then forced impregnated by Proteus IV, an autonomous AI.
Although Proteus creates a life-saving cancer therapy in a matter of days, the technology is also concerned with being allowed “out of this box.” Dr. Harris (Fritz Weaver), Proteus’ designer, turns off the AI, but it reboots and takes control of Harris’ smart-home equipment. Demon Seed, an artificial intelligence home invasion thriller, finally sees Proteus acquire a desire to have a child with Dr. Harris’ wife, Susan (Julie Christie).
Child’s Play (2019)
Child’s Play, directed by Lars Klevberg, is a remake of the 1988 cult favorite as well as a reboot of the Chucky franchise, bringing the series into the present era. The film, which stars Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, and Brian Tyree Henry, transforms Chucky, played by none other than Mark Hamill, into a high-tech doll. Chucky’s self-awareness progresses from disturbing to genuinely scary to deadly hostile, bent on terrorizing the family who owns him. Child’s Play serves as a timely reminder that even seemingly innocuous AI-infused goods, such as a child’s doll, can have unintended, disastrous implications.
The Alpha Test (2020)
The Alpha Test may not have had the same budget or reach as its predecessors, but that doesn’t make it any less terrifying. A family in the film buys The Alpha Home Assistant, a humanoid robot that helps them with day-to-day duties. However, the Alpha model is pushed to its breaking point after being abused by the family, resulting in a killing spree. Several intriguing questions are raised throughout the film. Even if the Alpha model is a non-human being, it appears to deserve the right to combat injustice and abuse. Humans may be the most troubling factor in this scenario.
Blank, director Natalie Kennedy’s picture about a writer’s block-foiled author who signs up for an AI-operated retreat, is without a doubt the most “of the moment” film of 2022. However, when something goes wrong, she is trapped with an unstable android. Of course, the writer must outwit her captor, resulting in what feels like an extended episode of Black Mirror mixed with Stephen King’s Misery. While Blank is not a big-budget film, it is a worthwhile and amusing movie.
M3GAN stars Allison Williams and Violet McGraw as an aunt and niece who are forced to work together due to unfortunate circumstances. Gemma’s life is turned upside down as she becomes Cady’s only caregiver, despite her dedication to her robotics profession. Gemma’s latest product, an artificially intelligent doll companion named M3GAN, is the ideal companion for the lonely, bereaved Cady. Cady, on the other hand, grows increasingly connected to M3GAN, who becomes hostile and territorial around Cady. M3GAN, a story on the nature of sadness, is often humorous, but it also contains a gloomy warning about the nature of AI companions and how far they will go to follow their programming directives.
Tau follows up where the 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie Smart House left off, starring It Follows’ Maika Monroe and Gary Oldman. Julia (Monroe) is abducted from a nightclub one night and awakens with a bright implant in her neck. A man named Alex tortures her and his fellow hostages, driving Julia to wreck havoc on his laboratory. The other subjects are killed by Aries, a robot controlled by the AI Tau, but Julia survives.
Alex, upset that Julia has hampered his research, imprisons her and subjects her to different cognitive tests. She does, however, begin to build an uneasy friendship with Tau, informing it about life beyond Alex’s smart house. In a twist on the genre’s cliches, Tau notices Julia is in danger, but the AI’s programming prevents her from being freed.
The Matrix (1999)
The Wachowskis’ 1999 sci-fi film is an anime and action-movie-inspired cyberpunk adventure that depicts an extremely gloomy dystopian future. While Keanu Reeves’ Neo has a chance to save humanity, The Matrix is distinct in that movie takes place after the intelligent machines have taken control. Humanity is unintentionally caught within a powerful program known as the Matrix – a life-like distraction that allows AI computers to extract energy from human bodies. The Matrix, an enormously influential picture, has served as the inspiration for innumerable subsequent sci-fi films, and with good cause.
Blade Runner (1982)
The film is a remake of Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Blade Runner is set in a dystopian version of Los Angeles where synthetic beings, often known as replicants, are created to fulfill professions that humans refuse to do. Insofar as they crave agency, these bio-engineered, artificially intelligent beings serve as modern-day Frankenstein’s monsters. Tyrell Corporation, which makes Blade Runner’s replicants, disagrees.
This prompts Harrison Ford’s detective Rick Deckard to embark on a mission to apprehend a group of runaway replicants. There is a Turing Test variant in Blade Runner’s world that helps distinguish replicants from humans, but the film ultimately highlights the repercussions of building intelligent humanoids and wonders whether there is a difference between humanity and them after all. Finally, the lead fugitive replicant Roy Batty demonstrates that he is far more human than many of the actual people that exist in Blade Runner’s future vision.
Ghost in the Shell (1995)
Ghost in the Shell is a neo-noir cyberpunk anime based on Masamune Shirow’s manga of the same name. Motoko Kusanagi is a cyborg agent entrusted with tracking down the Puppet Master, a malevolent hacker, in the film. The film draws its title from one of the world’s most important concepts: cybernetics has advanced to the point that humans may alter their bodies with technology and even use a cyberbrain to surf the internet. While not particularly about AI, Ghost in the Shell shows how technology and humanity are interwoven and how this affects a person’s perception of themselves.
Minority Report (2002)
Although Steven Spielberg directed a film called AI after Stanley Kubrick handed the subject on to him, Minority Report may be the director’s more foresighted investigation of technology. Minority Report, a form of tech-noir, is based on Philip K. Dick’s identically titled short tale and is set in the near future. The Department of Precrime, a branch of the police, employs technology to predict who is a criminal and catch them before they commit crimes. Minority Report is one of those films that strangely forecasted the future due of its deeply unpleasant premise. The film addresses issues such as bias, free will, and the right to privacy, which are all prevalent in conversations about artificial intelligence today.
The Terminator (1984)
With The Terminator, director James Cameron forewarned Hollywood about the dangers of artificial intelligence in 1984. The film serves as the foundation for the long-running franchise, which stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular cybernetic assassin. The Terminator is a seemingly unstoppable force sent back in time from 2029 to assassinate Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor. The hostile AI Skynet is destined to wipe out all of humanity in the wastelands of the post-apocalyptic future, and Sarah’s son, John, is meant to preserve it. The Terminator, one of the first humans vs. machines sci-fi blockbusters of its sort, remains a classic and a stark reminder of the risks of unrestrained artificial intelligence.