Saturday, May 16, 2015

Ex Machina, a Review

Alex Garland has created a philosophically interesting artful film in Ex Machina.  The film explores questions about the nature of intelligence, our ability to identify it, and the nature of relationships between flesh-and-blood humans and artificially intelligent androids.  As a computer scientist with expertise in the field of Artificial Intelligence, I was impressed by the questions his work raises with regard to the Turing Test, a proposed methodology for determining whether an artificial intelligence is, in fact, intelligent.

Without giving away the plot (this is, after all, a review), Garland makes a splendid choice in selecting a connectionist model for the “wet ware” of Ava, the primary android in his story.  I could see no flaws in this choice with regard to the story line.  Nothing in his plot required suspension of disbelief, even from the position of someone well informed about the nature of such technology.  The plot worked well.  The actors executed it flawlessly.  The conclusion of the movie was both unexpected and intellectually provocative, leaving one to wonder whether our human qualities make us potential victims of equal intelligences that lack them.

I give this movie a score of 9 out of 10.

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