Monday, June 8, 2015

Yet another movie, Ex Machina this time

Like with my last post, this movie does not specifically include animals in it, in fact it is completely devoid of them just like Mad Max. That being said, the subject matter of the movie, as well as its underlying themes suggested to me a relationship to this class when I was watching it. Ex Machina is a film about a young man who works at a tech company who is invited to spend a week at the remote home of his employer. At the house he is tasked with giving what his employer believes is artificial intelligence a series of tests, known as Turing Tests, to see if it is indeed true AI. I won't continue with the plot, because it isn't entirely necessary to this discussion, but once again I will add a little sidebar suggesting you go and see this movie because it is fantastic. Now back to the topic at hand, the relation this movie has with the course is a bit more abstract in its nature, however the subject matter of artificial intelligence shares a close bond with the course. AI represents a new type of intelligence, one separate and yet equal if not greater than that of human beings. It's the field that would shake the very Cartesian fabric on which society is built in which the thinking thing of the human being is no longer the only one worthy of treatment as the baseline being. That basic similarity aside, the movie shares another somewhat more obscured relation. In this movie that is entirely devoid of animals other than the human beings who are the main characters, of which there are only two, the artificial intelligence becomes the surrogate subject to be related kept as animals. The AI in question, Eva, is kept in a room with her only interaction with humans being the side of the room where a glass window is installed. This room, or cage as it should be called, is quite similar in purpose to that of a zoo cage. It allows the human who believes themselves greater to observe from safety the unpredictable animals, or in this case AI, that they wish to study. The movie moves closer into themes of liberation and hints of feministic ideologies that I won't go into detail on but trust me when I say this is one philosophical journey of modern cinematography that should not be missed, especially if you ascribe your own thinking to be similar to the subject matter of this course.

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