The Movie AI

Discussion in 'Intelligence & Machines' started by Cris, Jul 6, 2001.

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  1. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member

    Don’t read any further if you prefer not to know about a movie before seeing it.

    I saw AI today (7/5/2001). Pretty good entertainment, but I didn’t find much of it believable. The only character that consistently displayed wisdom and high intelligence throughout was the teddy – my favorite character. Everyone else seemed pretty foolish, meccas as well as the orgas.

    The choice of a parental couple who were in the throes of a personal tragedy seemed completely inappropriate for such an experiment. The researchers would never be sure if any parental love was because of a rebound from a lost child or was based on a true reaction to the robot child.

    But the most idiotic notion was where unwanted robots would be discarded and allowed to roam in the wastelands. All the indications were that the society was still capitalist and consumer driven. This would mean that someone manufactured the robots and someone would have purchased them. Today when we want to dispose of a piece of complex or large equipment we would go to a place specific for disposal or attempt a trade-in. But even for disposal, batteries would be removed or the equipment would be deactivated or simply switched off. Who would throw away an old portable radio while it was still playing, accidentally perhaps, but let’s be real? If a robot became defective and began to malfunction, wouldn’t that represent a danger? The movie implied that such machines were simply told to leave. How about repairs or recycling?

    Now I must admit I can’t remember one of the opening statements that explained why robots were around, perhaps someone can remind me otherwise I’ll have to go back. But a discussion by a manufacturer included marketing and sales perspectives, i.e. robots were being sold for profit. No, it simply isn’t credible that highly intelligent discarded machines would be allowed to roam freely to fend for themselves.

    I was disappointed that the movie stressed emotional love as being so important. While the emotion has its place, in real life it is probably the most overrated and over emphasized human activity. The moviemakers have tried to leverage that perception in place of other more potentially interesting and exciting aspects of a robotic future. Even so, I did have a little weep at the end – see I’m really a big softie.

    I was also dismayed that such famous and experienced moviemakers would resort to such very stale portrayals of human behavior. Are we really meant to believe that these parents were so irrational and temperamental – perhaps in my 48 years I have missed something but most people don’t behave that way, do they? And I don’t believe that all young boys are bullies and cruel, because that was how they were all portrayed, or is that an American trait? No I don’t think so.

    But if you like aliens then the ending was pretty neat. And resurrecting someone instantly into a full adult from a scrap of DNA and then locating and extracting their personality and memories from the space-time continuum was fairly imaginative. But just for a day? Classic tearjerker.

    I'll give it a B-

    Please add your views.

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    A.I. gets a B+, more for ideas, special effects, & some of the acting. As far as your questions, let me try to answer:

    1) I think it was really spelled 'mechas' but pronounced 'meccas', but I think the movie was more a creation myth as told by the future mechas.
    2) That may be true, but how would you choose a test couple, were the robot would imprint on the host family?
    3) We take out our unwanted pets to the country or to the SPCA, don't we?
    4) So what do most people do with their out-of-date PC's & monitors? Where are the Furby's & Tickle Me Elmos of a few years ago? What happens to all the still recyclable old cars?
    5) Not everyone is so economical, I feel that we should have more recycle centers for all our old computer stuff.
    6) This is an error in their logic; they were not allowed to have kids, unless they got permission. This because of the use of resources required to bring them up, yet this society seemed wasteful beyond excess.
    7) Emotion may be the only way to tell whether higher functioning sentient beings are more 'human' than 'dog'.
    8) I like the A.I. alien type beings, were would evolution take us or them? I saw what I thought were touches by both Kubrick & Spielberg in this movie. Nice try, just misses the mark.
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  5. On second thought......

    There may very well be a religious/mythological aspect to the names 'meccas' and 'orgas', namely these mechanized beings are searching for a mechanical 'Mecca', and the organic lifeforms are really 'ogres' that they meet along the way to sentience?
    Also, I was taken aback by the senseless violence that our little A.I. friend perpetuated on his double, did he learn that response from us? Or was that a 'purely human emotional' response that he learned on his road to individuality?
    Those people at the 'Flesh Fair' may have been a combination of our fascination with; demolition derby, so-called pro-wrestling, curiosity seekers and luddites. A change that would have put this into a more 'logical' bread & circuses mentality, would have been to have a gladiator-type match, 'meccas', 'orgas', self-propelled killing machines, etc. etc. in the LA Coliseum. Also, after I posted this response, I read an editorial in the LA Times, that basicly said that the movie was hopelessly out of date, that the real future had chip-implanted enhanced humans, that would be connected to the Internet, having access to vast amounts of information and memory.
    Anyway, just a thought.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2001
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  7. kenton Registered Member

    They did look like alien beings, but I'm pretty sure they were more advanced robots. The original mecha's were eventually the remaining life on earth, after all the humans died. So they built more of themselves, and advanced, and advanced, got smarter, and smarter .. . and eventually in the 2000 year span, they ended up as the alien looking beings at the end.
  8. Cris In search of Immortality Valued Senior Member


    Now that is a nice and more believable interpretation, I wonder if that was what was intended anyway since the movie is called AI.

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