Tags: artificial intelligence, sci-fi, Turing test
Can androids become self-aware and experience human emotions? What would happen if they passed the Turing test? This was the premise of the movie, Ex Machina.
In the movie, a brilliant young man called Caleb was plucked out of his mundane life as a computer programmer to work on an experiment on artificial intelligence. His boss, Nathan, was a genius scientist who successfully created a female android named Ava. Caleb’s task was to interact with Ava and see if she could pass the Turing test – the global standard test for artificial intelligence.
The test was conducted in an isolated research facility deep within the mountains. The experiment lasted for a week but it ended with surprising revelations. Caleb was amazed with Ava’s ability to display and even feel human emotions. It wasn’t long before he concluded that Ava passed the test. But just as he learned of Ava’s capabilities, he too learned something more sinister happening inside the research facility.
This movie showed the humanizing of an android – a robot that believed she’s human but forever be reminded that she’s not because of the way she looked. It showed just to what extent an android would do to become human.
But what I really loved about this movie was the unexpected twist at the end. Caleb suddenly became the subject of the experiment not just Ava. Ex Machina showed us how human weakness could become a powerful tool and exploited by an android. Ava learned how to manipulate, deceive and inject just the right emotions to convince Caleb to turn against Nathan.
Alicia Vikander’s performance as Ava the android was simply superb. Her facial expressions and the way she moved had that fluidity of a human/robot hybrid without looking clunky and well, robotic. The slightest turn of her head or the way she blinked had that right balance to convince the audience that she’s not entirely a robot – nor human.
At the end of the movie, you could almost sympathize with her and her plight but at the same time feel horrified at the coldbloodedness of her actions as a robot.