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The advent of AI has brought numerous improvements to our daily lives, making an incalculable impact on society, from the development of supercomputers to the creation of massive machinery. Whatever we do know, though, is only the very surface. As an added bonus, AI has been a popular plot point in films since the middle of the twentieth century. It has facilitated imaginative means of evading monotony. Thanks to AI, we may speculate about what life will be like when we have access to even more cutting-edge tools. This allows films to convey these futuristic ideas as normal and natural.
Although the technology appears to be cutting-edge now, its roots go back quite a ways. Did you know that artificial intelligence first appeared in the movie industry around the turn of the last century? The incorporation of artificial intelligence in the cinema world has come a long way, making it the right time for us to compile the cherry-picks of the genre for you to check out.
Ex Machina (2014)
Runtime: 1h 48m
Alex Garland’s first featured film as director is the science fiction picture Ex Machina, released in 2014. Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno, and Oscar Isaac portray the four leading roles in this refreshing thriller.
Artificial Intelligence being the focus of this movie, Ex Machina portrays its evolution and how it would affect humankind. What sets Ex Machina apart is not only its setting—right on the border between humanity and artificial intelligence—but also its portrayal of that moment when the boundary is ultimately crossed.
The movie’s opening sequence follows Caleb Smith, who wins a contest in the massive Internet company where he works. As a reward, he gets to spend a week with the company’s genius CEO, Nathan Bateman, at his private home. However, when he gets there, he is informed that he’d be the human element in the stunning robot, Ava’s Turing test that would determine her intelligence and capabilities. Little do they know, the humanoid robot is more self-aware and perceptive than any other may have imagined.
The Matrix (1999)
Runtime: 2h 16m
The Matrix is a classic AI movie packed with mind-bending action sequences that keep you springing out of your seat. This movie jump-starts a film franchise that spans an additional three sequels over a period of twenty years. Created and written by the Wachowskis, The Matrix is the first installment of the franchise. It stars the likes of famous names in the film industry, Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe Pantoliano.
In a dystopian future, artificially intelligent machines have enslaved humanity by keeping their conscious minds unknowingly imprisoned inside a digital simulation while using their bodies as an energy source.
After Thomas Anderson, a computer programmer who goes by the hacker name “Neo,” learns the truth, he leads an uprising against the robots along with other individuals who have escaped the Matrix.
The cyber-adventure The Matrix is a visual feast packed with action and adventure. Showing a darker side of artificial intelligence in the longer run, it’s a must-watch for fans of the genre.
The Terminator (1984)
Runtime: 1h 47m
Another successful cult classic science-fiction media franchise thematically similar to the Matrix franchise in subtle ways, The Terminator was created by James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a cyborg from the future in this action-packed film that also features machine learning and futuristic technologies.
Like The Matrix franchise, this movie depicts a dystopian future where Skynet powers artificially intelligent machines. And humans are locked neck-in-neck in a gruesome war, fighting over the total occupation of the planet which makes its way to the past. A human soldier also travels to the past in order to stop the cyborg from preventing the future by eliminating Sarah Connor, the mother of the future leader of the resistance.
The movie’s message about the perils of technology and its potential for evil uses stands true even now. This is more than just another mindless action movie because it deals with themes like fate and free will.
For science fiction and action movie buffs, “The Terminator” is an absolute must. It’s still remembered as a classic and a major inspiration for other movies in the same genre.
Runtime: 1h 38m
The movie is set 700 years in a dystopian future depicting Wall-E. Wall-E is the last operational machine of his kind tasked with scooping up the heaps of garbage left behind by the planet’s previous inhabitants, constructing monumental skyscrapers out of it all. This robust cubic robot grows wearied of his mundane routine until one fine day when he crosses paths with a sleek, white, feminine probe-droid. He instantly falls for her, considering how lonely he’s been most of his time on the planet.
Wall-E is an outer space adventure movie that embarks on an interstellar quest to save humanity from itself while simultaneously restoring Earth to its former glory. A refreshing break from all the cynical dystopian films made about artificial intelligence, Wall-E showcases the positive side of the implications of artificial intelligence in human life. This movie is a must-watch considering it has a 95 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating and 8.4 on IMDb.
Runtime: 2h 6m
Spike Jonze’s “Her” is a profound and moving science-fiction drama that addresses the limits of human connection and the spirit of love.
Starring Joaquin Phoenix and the voice of Scarlett Johannson, this feature film follows the life of Theodore Twombly, a solitary and introverted writer going through a divorce, and is the film’s protagonist. In search of company, he buys a new operating system for his computer that can adapt to his own preferences and demands thanks to its artificial intelligence. In a short amount of time, the system, now going by the name Samantha, has a distinct personality and forms an intricate bond with Theodore.
Phoenix gives a subtle and emotional performance as Theodore, and Johansson gives Samantha a genuine sense of curiosity and wonders with their great performances. Jonze uses soft lighting and dampened colors to create a dreamlike ambiance that works wonderfully with the film’s focus on intimacy and connection. The result is nothing short of stunning- A must-watch for audiences that enjoy romance coupled with science-fiction.