Front Row at the Movies
"Ex Machina" Tests Your Artificial Intelligence
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
Stephen Hawking warns, "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."
Prof Hawking says the primitive forms of artificial intelligence developed so far have proved very useful, but he fears the consequences of creating something that can match or surpass humans.
Which brings us to a new sci-fi film titled "Ex Machina," currently screening at the Tropic Cinema. Directed by novelist Alex Garland, it pits humans against androids powered by A.I.
As it happens, Alan Turing (the subject of "The Imitation Game") was a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence. The Turing Test is named in his honor. It examines artificial intelligence in a computer, its methodology based on whether you can distinguish the machine from another human being by a series of questions put to both.
In essence, "Ex Machina" is a 108-minute exploration of the Turing Test. Here, a bright young computer programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) is tapped by his reclusive boss (Oscar Isaac) to test an android prototype named Ava (Alicia Vikander).
The testing gets complicated when the programmer realizes that her artificial intelligence includes a penchant for sexuality. Can he remain objective when faced with her seductive charm?
Power outages allow him to communicate in private with Ava. Should he believe her when she warns him not to trust his boss? Should he help her escape the confines of the secluded mountain hideaway?
Or is he the one being tested?
Writing about "Ex Machina," New Scientist Magazine said, "It is a rare thing to see a movie about science that takes no prisoners intellectually..."
What should we make of today’s scientific advancement in artificial intelligence? Prof Hawking says to be careful.
Should I unplug Seri on my iPhone?