Archive of ‘Ex Machina’ category

‘Blade Runner’ vs. ‘Ex Machina’: Testing the Human Conscience (spoiler alert!)

Rachael from 'Blade Runner' and Ava from 'Ex Machina'.  Together they embody two visions for artificial intelligence.

Rachael from ‘Blade Runner’ and Ava from ‘Ex Machina’. Together they embody two visions for artificial intelligence.

The bold, sexually aware female AI, the protagonist who risks his life on a crisis of conscience, and the amoral but brilliant scientist-turned-creator. Alex Garland’s Ex Machina borrows the visions of Blade Runner, but turns the narrative on its head. While the Replicants in Blade Runner strove towards some semblance to man (and man’s longevity), Ex Machinas robots strive for freedom beyond man. The robot becomes the inquisitor and the human a mere puppet. As the movie unfolds, Ex Machina is not afraid to question our preconceived notions about sentience and morality, and in the process, explicitly divorce the two.

The Turing Test Meets An Inquisitive Mind

Near the beginning of Ex Machina, Caleb posits a question about consciousness. If a computer is programmed to play chess, it might be able to play the game well. But does the computer know that it is playing chess, or even what a game is?


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