‘Ex Machina’ explores humanity as much as AI | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

REAL SCIENCE. REAL NEWS.

Help us keep you informed.

Support Science News.


Film

‘Ex Machina’ explores humanity as much as AI

Sci-fi thriller delves into power relationships

By
10:00am, May 2, 2015
Ex Machina

While other characters contemplate the humanness of the robot Ava (played by Alicia Vikander) in Ex Machina, the film focuses on the humanity of her maker and of the man evaluating her.

The Turing test features prominently in Alex Garland’s new film Ex Machina, but this is no meditation on computer science. It’s not even, ultimately, about artificial intelligence. The movie instead explores humans: the Frankenstein-like hubris involved in creating artificial beings; the power relationships between employee and boss, parent and child, tester and testee; the moral responsibility of creation.

The movie follows a young programmer, Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), chosen to spend a week in the remote boreal home and lab of his billionaire boss Nathan (Oscar Isaac), a reclusive genius who wrote the code for a Google-like search engine when he was a teen. Nathan tasks Caleb with interviewing Nathan’s A.I. creation, Ava (Alicia Vikander), to see if the robotic femme fatale has achieved the ability to think for herself, or, some would say, consciousness. Instead of evaluating Ava, Caleb falls for her and

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content