Artificial intelligence, or AI, has slowly but surely become a reality within recent years.
However, the concept of AI has its roots in science fiction. From the Greek myths of Hephaestus’ golden robots to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the idea of creating life from nothing has plagued humankind for some time.
The theme of AI in the media hasn’t slowed down. If anything, with real AI on the rise and appearing in everyone’s lives in the form of digital assistants like Alexa and Google Home, it has managed to take off even further.
The big screen provides some of the best examples of AI in the popular imagination.
The Continued Popularity
Today, it is easy to see why this theme is so prevalent. Even in movies like Star Wars, fictional characters interact with machines similar to how people do now in real life.
While there are no C-3POs walking around yet, but humans have made strides to allow AI to think for itself and adapt to situations.
In the past, though, that wasn’t the case. AI has been a firm fixture in the realm of fiction until only recently. The allure wasn’t the relationship of man to machine, but rather, man to man.
Through the eyes of a fictional AI, we can see ourselves from the outside and get a better understanding of something that’s not quite alive, yet must be alive.
There’s something to be said about existentialism in this sense, by coming to terms with humans not being the only intelligent beings anymore and the fragility of life as we know it. Science fiction likes to explore the deep themes along this path, and gets the audience into a different frame of mind.
What are some movies that force people to ask questions about themselves through the eyes of another?
8 Awesome Movies About AI
Authors and filmmakers have explored the concept of AI seemingly to death, until we come across a new idea or invention.
Technology keeps moving forward, which gives us more ideas for stories. With these stories, inventors get new ideas for creations. The circle keeps going from there, but the song more or less remains the same. The idea is an interesting one to explore, especially in recent years.
Here are eight films released over the last decade that fuel the audience’s imaginations by shining a spotlight on the idea of AI.
1. Ex Machina
The movie starts when a programmer for a large tech firm wins a trip to stay at his CEO’s estate. Once there, he discovers he’s to be part of a Turing test for an android his company’s owner has created.
An indirect sequel to the 1982 film, this one follows a new blade runner — or android hunter — as he stumbles across a mystery that could blur the edges between humans and replicants, or the AI in the film. He then sets out on a quest to find Deckard, the former blade runner and protagonist of the original film.
A child prodigy discovers Tomorrowland, a place between time and space. He goes back years later with another young genius to uncover the setting’s mysteries.
Just one part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Age of Ultron follows Iron Man’s desire to build a peacekeeping program. Unfortunately, the program takes on a life of its own and decides to opt for extreme measures.
A man begins having recurring nightmares of the planet’s destruction. He and his family battle with the idea that what’s happening is either all in his imagination or real events that will come to pass.
A doctor adopts an abandoned cyborg. When she wakes up, the cyborg has no memory of anything and must find her way through the world.
A bioengineered child learns new skills much faster than humans. The child attacks one of her handlers, then begins to run amok in the facility, where other workers have gotten trapped inside with her.
A human uprising destroys a series of police droids. However, one stolen droid survives this revolt and receives new programming to feel and think for himself, so he begins to try understanding human behavior.
To The Movies
These are the most recent movies centered on AI. There are still other movies to explore, like 1995’s Ghost in the Shell, 1984’s Terminator, 1968’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and many others.
This list also doesn’t include literature readers may want to check out. For now, a look through some of the more recent, relatable selections can provide a new experience for AI in fiction just yet.
People who have yet to watch the films here may be surprised at how they provide food for thought and inspire in-depth conversations.