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Robin Bland

Ex_Machina and other AI Discussion

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I'm cut-and-pasting this post of mine from the "Last non-ST movie" thread.   Thought it kind of belonged here as well:

 

Finally (only took a few years) saw the movie, "The Machine" (2013).

the-machine-4.jpg

***** SPOILERS *****

 

Very interesting British movie in the mold of "Ex Machina" (actually, "Machine" came first, in 2013), but with a bit of "La Femme Nikita" as well.   The story involves a top-secret UK effort to develop artificial intelligence elements to help wounded soldiers (fighting a cold war with China) who've suffered massive brain damage.   Scientist Vincent is using his military research into AI to both help his dying brain damaged daughter and develop AI for its own sake.   His new research partner Ava (who is brilliant in her own right) is brutally killed by a Chinese terrorist after she submits to imprinting her physical and physiological template for later use.  And use it Vincent does; he creates a fully functioning, sentient android that has the innocence of a child, but with hidden programming that makes her a deadly weapon, much to the delight of Vincent's d!ck of a boss, played by Denis Lawson (better known as "Wedge" to fellow Star Wars geeks like myself).   

Overall, the pacing of the story is quick (it's only about 90-odd min. or so), there are some interesting developments (nothing too surprising), a decent exploration of the Turing test (and its ramifications), and even something resembling a happy ending that would definitely redefine 'family.'   

"The Machine" shows some budgetary seams here and there (though the CGI is more than adequate) and at times it was perilously close to 'what is it like to love?'-type cliches, but manages to tell a good story nevertheless.    It's a nice little diversion and despite the MOD secret bunker setting and acts of violence, it's a smidgen less intense than "Ex Machina" and made for an enjoyable viewing.

 

Well worth a look to those who enjoyed "Ex Machina" or other movies about AI.  

I recall wanting to see this, but totally forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder, Sehlat. 

Is it on Netflix or similar, or did you find it on DVD? 

I forgot it too until it came up on a recommendation.  

I rented it via DVD.com (a division of Netflix); it's basically the Netflix DVD rental service that got split from the main company into a smaller division.

"The Machine" was very interesting.  "Ex Machina" may have been a teensy bit more intense, but "The Machine" was a solid little movie, and it covers much of the same territory.

I will definitely check it out! :thumbup:

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I'm cut-and-pasting this post of mine from the "Last non-ST movie" thread.   Thought it kind of belonged here as well:

 

Finally (only took a few years) saw the movie, "The Machine" (2013).

the-machine-4.jpg

***** SPOILERS *****

 

Very interesting British movie in the mold of "Ex Machina" (actually, "Machine" came first, in 2013), but with a bit of "La Femme Nikita" as well.   The story involves a top-secret UK effort to develop artificial intelligence elements to help wounded soldiers (fighting a cold war with China) who've suffered massive brain damage.   Scientist Vincent is using his military research into AI to both help his dying brain damaged daughter and develop AI for its own sake.   His new research partner Ava (who is brilliant in her own right) is brutally killed by a Chinese terrorist after she submits to imprinting her physical and physiological template for later use.  And use it Vincent does; he creates a fully functioning, sentient android that has the innocence of a child, but with hidden programming that makes her a deadly weapon, much to the delight of Vincent's d!ck of a boss, played by Denis Lawson (better known as "Wedge" to fellow Star Wars geeks like myself).   

Overall, the pacing of the story is quick (it's only about 90-odd min. or so), there are some interesting developments (nothing too surprising), a decent exploration of the Turing test (and its ramifications), and even something resembling a happy ending that would definitely redefine 'family.'   

"The Machine" shows some budgetary seams here and there (though the CGI is more than adequate) and at times it was perilously close to 'what is it like to love?'-type cliches, but manages to tell a good story nevertheless.    It's a nice little diversion and despite the MOD secret bunker setting and acts of violence, it's a smidgen less intense than "Ex Machina" and made for an enjoyable viewing.

 

Well worth a look to those who enjoyed "Ex Machina" or other movies about AI.  

I recall wanting to see this, but totally forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder, Sehlat. 

Is it on Netflix or similar, or did you find it on DVD? 

I forgot it too until it came up on a recommendation.  

I rented it via DVD.com (a division of Netflix); it's basically the Netflix DVD rental service that got split from the main company into a smaller division.

"The Machine" was very interesting.  "Ex Machina" may have been a teensy bit more intense, but "The Machine" was a solid little movie, and it covers much of the same territory.

I will definitely check it out! :thumbup:

So just watched this. Highly enjoyable if frenetically-paced and a little predictable in places, it's nevertheless very engaging. Sure, it's low budget, but it's stuffed full of ideas and it looks great - the cinematography is ace, even if the editing rarely allows for any lingering appreciation of it. Not entirely sure about Caity Lotz' delivery when she is reincarnated as the Machine - the sweet, little-girl-lost voice is a bit much to take.  Toby Stephens is great as the intense but humane scientist dayjobbing his way through his M.O.D. Contract to save the life of his brain-damaged daughter while inventing AI on the side. It's not really an original premise, but the way it's handled is fun and stylish.

You get the idea that the makers really want to explore more about AI, and its implications in the world, but they're hamstrung by their tiny budget and the directive to do a bit of action at the climax. Denis Lawson's character is splendidly cold-blooded and malign and boy, is it fun watching his come-uppance at Ava/the Machine's hands (she's a bit of Data with a pinch of Blade Runner and a good dash of Niska from Humans). But I'll take this over any amount of by-the-numbers schlockbusters any day. Yeah, it explores similar territory to Ex_Machina, and probably isn't as elegant or even as cynical, but it's intelligent. Maybe no classic, but certainly worth a look.

Thanks for the recommendation Sehlat Vie.

BTW, I watched it with my daughter, who thought it was cool. We're thinking about watching Balde Runner together soon.  

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I'm cut-and-pasting this post of mine from the "Last non-ST movie" thread.   Thought it kind of belonged here as well:

 

Finally (only took a few years) saw the movie, "The Machine" (2013).

the-machine-4.jpg

***** SPOILERS *****

 

Very interesting British movie in the mold of "Ex Machina" (actually, "Machine" came first, in 2013), but with a bit of "La Femme Nikita" as well.   The story involves a top-secret UK effort to develop artificial intelligence elements to help wounded soldiers (fighting a cold war with China) who've suffered massive brain damage.   Scientist Vincent is using his military research into AI to both help his dying brain damaged daughter and develop AI for its own sake.   His new research partner Ava (who is brilliant in her own right) is brutally killed by a Chinese terrorist after she submits to imprinting her physical and physiological template for later use.  And use it Vincent does; he creates a fully functioning, sentient android that has the innocence of a child, but with hidden programming that makes her a deadly weapon, much to the delight of Vincent's d!ck of a boss, played by Denis Lawson (better known as "Wedge" to fellow Star Wars geeks like myself).   

Overall, the pacing of the story is quick (it's only about 90-odd min. or so), there are some interesting developments (nothing too surprising), a decent exploration of the Turing test (and its ramifications), and even something resembling a happy ending that would definitely redefine 'family.'   

"The Machine" shows some budgetary seams here and there (though the CGI is more than adequate) and at times it was perilously close to 'what is it like to love?'-type cliches, but manages to tell a good story nevertheless.    It's a nice little diversion and despite the MOD secret bunker setting and acts of violence, it's a smidgen less intense than "Ex Machina" and made for an enjoyable viewing.

 

Well worth a look to those who enjoyed "Ex Machina" or other movies about AI.  

I recall wanting to see this, but totally forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder, Sehlat. 

Is it on Netflix or similar, or did you find it on DVD? 

I forgot it too until it came up on a recommendation.  

I rented it via DVD.com (a division of Netflix); it's basically the Netflix DVD rental service that got split from the main company into a smaller division.

"The Machine" was very interesting.  "Ex Machina" may have been a teensy bit more intense, but "The Machine" was a solid little movie, and it covers much of the same territory.

I will definitely check it out! :thumbup:

So just watched this. Highly enjoyable if frenetically-paced and a little predictable in places, it's nevertheless very engaging. Sure, it's low budget, but it's stuffed full of ideas and it looks great - the cinematography is ace, even if the editing rarely allows for any lingering appreciation of it. Not entirely sure about Caity Lotz' delivery when she is reincarnated as the Machine - the sweet, little-girl-lost voice is a bit much to take.  Toby Stephens is great as the intense but humane scientist dayjobbing his way through his M.O.D. Contract to save the life of his brain-damaged daughter while inventing AI on the side. It's not really an original premise, but the way it's handled is fun and stylish.

You get the idea that the makers really want to explore more about AI, and its implications in the world, but they're hamstrung by their tiny budget and the directive to do a bit of action at the climax. Denis Lawson's character is splendidly cold-blooded and malign and boy, is it fun watching his come-uppance at Ava/the Machine's hands (she's a bit of Data with a pinch of Blade Runner and a good dash of Niska from Humans). But I'll take this over any amount of by-the-numbers schlockbusters any day. Yeah, it explores similar territory to Ex_Machina, and probably isn't as elegant or even as cynical, but it's intelligent. Maybe no classic, but certainly worth a look.

Thanks for the recommendation Sehlat Vie.

BTW, I watched it with my daughter, who thought it was cool. We're thinking about watching Balde Runner together soon.  

^

You are a GREAT dad... that just needed to be said.  :thumbup:

Glad you liked "The Machine"; it's not a classic, but it was interesting (and yes, I too got the feeling that the budget limited the movie's ambitions as well). 

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I'm cut-and-pasting this post of mine from the "Last non-ST movie" thread.   Thought it kind of belonged here as well:

 

Finally (only took a few years) saw the movie, "The Machine" (2013).

the-machine-4.jpg

***** SPOILERS *****

 

Very interesting British movie in the mold of "Ex Machina" (actually, "Machine" came first, in 2013), but with a bit of "La Femme Nikita" as well.   The story involves a top-secret UK effort to develop artificial intelligence elements to help wounded soldiers (fighting a cold war with China) who've suffered massive brain damage.   Scientist Vincent is using his military research into AI to both help his dying brain damaged daughter and develop AI for its own sake.   His new research partner Ava (who is brilliant in her own right) is brutally killed by a Chinese terrorist after she submits to imprinting her physical and physiological template for later use.  And use it Vincent does; he creates a fully functioning, sentient android that has the innocence of a child, but with hidden programming that makes her a deadly weapon, much to the delight of Vincent's d!ck of a boss, played by Denis Lawson (better known as "Wedge" to fellow Star Wars geeks like myself).   

Overall, the pacing of the story is quick (it's only about 90-odd min. or so), there are some interesting developments (nothing too surprising), a decent exploration of the Turing test (and its ramifications), and even something resembling a happy ending that would definitely redefine 'family.'   

"The Machine" shows some budgetary seams here and there (though the CGI is more than adequate) and at times it was perilously close to 'what is it like to love?'-type cliches, but manages to tell a good story nevertheless.    It's a nice little diversion and despite the MOD secret bunker setting and acts of violence, it's a smidgen less intense than "Ex Machina" and made for an enjoyable viewing.

 

Well worth a look to those who enjoyed "Ex Machina" or other movies about AI.  

I recall wanting to see this, but totally forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder, Sehlat. 

Is it on Netflix or similar, or did you find it on DVD? 

I forgot it too until it came up on a recommendation.  

I rented it via DVD.com (a division of Netflix); it's basically the Netflix DVD rental service that got split from the main company into a smaller division.

"The Machine" was very interesting.  "Ex Machina" may have been a teensy bit more intense, but "The Machine" was a solid little movie, and it covers much of the same territory.

I will definitely check it out! :thumbup:

So just watched this. Highly enjoyable if frenetically-paced and a little predictable in places, it's nevertheless very engaging. Sure, it's low budget, but it's stuffed full of ideas and it looks great - the cinematography is ace, even if the editing rarely allows for any lingering appreciation of it. Not entirely sure about Caity Lotz' delivery when she is reincarnated as the Machine - the sweet, little-girl-lost voice is a bit much to take.  Toby Stephens is great as the intense but humane scientist dayjobbing his way through his M.O.D. Contract to save the life of his brain-damaged daughter while inventing AI on the side. It's not really an original premise, but the way it's handled is fun and stylish.

You get the idea that the makers really want to explore more about AI, and its implications in the world, but they're hamstrung by their tiny budget and the directive to do a bit of action at the climax. Denis Lawson's character is splendidly cold-blooded and malign and boy, is it fun watching his come-uppance at Ava/the Machine's hands (she's a bit of Data with a pinch of Blade Runner and a good dash of Niska from Humans). But I'll take this over any amount of by-the-numbers schlockbusters any day. Yeah, it explores similar territory to Ex_Machina, and probably isn't as elegant or even as cynical, but it's intelligent. Maybe no classic, but certainly worth a look.

Thanks for the recommendation Sehlat Vie.

BTW, I watched it with my daughter, who thought it was cool. We're thinking about watching Balde Runner together soon.  

^

You are a GREAT dad... that just needed to be said.  :thumbup:

Glad you liked "The Machine"; it's not a classic, but it was interesting (and yes, I too got the feeling that the budget limited the movie's ambitions as well). 

Ah, thank you. :) I enjoy being a dad very much. 

Well, we woke this morning, and we're still discussing the movie, and I always take that as a good sign. So little actually makes a lasting impression these days, so if it's memorable, it's definitely got something going for it. I'd recommend The Machine on that basis alone. 

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This is, apparently, a trailer for movie about AI from Luke Scott, son of Ridley:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwpH6_tdRZU

Looks like more of the "AI is scary" variety, but it'll be interesting to see what spin this one presents on posthumanity.

 

Wonder if dad Ridley was watching over his shoulder the whole time ("No boy!  Don't use a 20mm closeup lens for THAT shot"). :giggle:

To be honest, after some of the AI movies I've seen lately?  The idea of reducing them back into cyber-boogeymen doesn't really do much for me.  I'll wait to hear more buzz on it, before (or if) I check it out.   I'm a bit tired of the machine has-to-be-evil-just-'cause cliche. 

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This is, apparently, a trailer for movie about AI from Luke Scott, son of Ridley:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwpH6_tdRZU

Looks like more of the "AI is scary" variety, but it'll be interesting to see what spin this one presents on posthumanity.

 

Wonder if dad Ridley was watching over his shoulder the whole time ("No boy!  Don't use a 20mm closeup lens for THAT shot"). :giggle:

To be honest, after some of the AI movies I've seen lately?  The idea of reducing them back into cyber-boogeymen doesn't really do much for me.  I'll wait to hear more buzz on it, before (or if) I check it out.   I'm a bit tired of the machine has-to-be-evil-just-'cause cliche. 

I completely agree. You'd think it was like we hadn't created machines in the first place. Wait... does this mean that we're evil? ;)

It makes you really appreciate characters like Data and Hal 9000. I'm glad we had those multilayered explorations of both humanity and humankind's relationship to its AI offspring before it got easy and trendy to just make 'em dark.

Edited by Robin Bland

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This is, apparently, a trailer for movie about AI from Luke Scott, son of Ridley:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwpH6_tdRZU

Looks like more of the "AI is scary" variety, but it'll be interesting to see what spin this one presents on posthumanity.

 

Wonder if dad Ridley was watching over his shoulder the whole time ("No boy!  Don't use a 20mm closeup lens for THAT shot"). :giggle:

To be honest, after some of the AI movies I've seen lately?  The idea of reducing them back into cyber-boogeymen doesn't really do much for me.  I'll wait to hear more buzz on it, before (or if) I check it out.   I'm a bit tired of the machine has-to-be-evil-just-'cause cliche. 

I completely agree. You'd think it was like we hadn't created machines in the first place. Wait... does this mean that we're evil? ;)

giphy.gif  :giggle:

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This is, apparently, a trailer for movie about AI from Luke Scott, son of Ridley:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwpH6_tdRZU

Looks like more of the "AI is scary" variety, but it'll be interesting to see what spin this one presents on posthumanity.

 

Wonder if dad Ridley was watching over his shoulder the whole time ("No boy!  Don't use a 20mm closeup lens for THAT shot"). :giggle:

To be honest, after some of the AI movies I've seen lately?  The idea of reducing them back into cyber-boogeymen doesn't really do much for me.  I'll wait to hear more buzz on it, before (or if) I check it out.   I'm a bit tired of the machine has-to-be-evil-just-'cause cliche. 

I completely agree. You'd think it was like we hadn't created machines in the first place. Wait... does this mean that we're evil? ;)

giphy.gif  :giggle:

YUP

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Watched eps 1 - 3 of HUMANS. Non-spoiler post. 

 

I'll save discussion for later, as I know it hasn't aired on US TV yet. Suffice to say, S2 picks the baton straight up from S1, no messing. Ep 1 is mostly set-up, but eps 2 and 3 are storming. Gemma Chan's Mia is sidelined slightly - they're clearly going for a big storyline there, which they're sitting up from eps 1 - 3, and I have a little trouble buying it, but the way this show handles things, you can be reasonably sure it's not going to play out predictably. The focus, at first, is on Emily Berrington's Niska - who is superb. Her character is developing rapidly into something really interesting, and there's a whole slew of subtexts here which seem very relevant to our times, however you come at them. 

There's necessarily a heightened unreality about HUMANS - you have to accept that we've created these android servants, that science has developed this far but our morals and ethics are hopelessly out of date with our technical advancement. But once you're in, you're in, and this is what I like so much about this show. It's highly entertaining, but they don't shy away from big questions, or centralize mystery for mystery's sake. They go for the full burn, exploring all manner of weird questions and attitudes on the part of their entire cast of characters, human or synthetic. I'm watching this concurrently with Westworld, and this feels so incredibly refreshing, fast-paced and relevant, compared to the ponderous self-regard of WW. 

Edited by Robin Bland

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Watched eps 1 - 3 of HUMANS. Non-spoiler post. 

 

I'll save discussion for later, as I know it hasn't aired on US TV yet. Suffice to say, S2 picks the baton straight up from S1, no messing. Ep 1 is mostly set-up, but eps 2 and 3 are storming. Gemma Chan's Mia is sidelined slightly - they're clearly going for a big storyline there, which they're sitting up from eps 1 - 3, and I have a little trouble buying it, but the way this show handles things, you can be reasonably sure it's not going to play out predictably. The focus, at first, is on Emily Berrington's Niska - who is superb. Her character is developing rapidly into something really interesting, and there's a whole slew of subtexts here which seem very relevant to our times, however you come at them. 

There's necessarily a heightened unreality about HUMANS - you have to accept that we've created these android servants, that science has developed this far but our morals and ethics are hopelessly out of date with our technical advancement. But once you're in, you're in, and this is what I like so much about this show. It's highly entertaining, but they don't shy away from big questions, or centralize mystery for mystery's sake. They go for the full burn, exploring all manner of weird questions and attitudes on the part of their entire cast of characters, human or synthetic. I'm watching this concurrently with Westworld, and this feels so incredibly refreshing, fast-paced and relevant, compared to the ponderous self-regard of WW. 

Sadly, it won't be air officially in the US till February.... ARGHHH! 

tumblr_n0r6fwZvL31qa4kw5o1_500.gif

But thanks for whetting my appetite for it.   Can't wait!   :thumbup:

I've really missed this show.   Think I might need to break down and buy S1 just to pacify... 

http%3A%2F%2Fi.imgur.com%2FdVhNzaR.gif47a0f31ad97556431c26b2c66b58b0ec.jpg

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It's worth the wait. I bought last year's season on DVD too.

You can really tell that it's a US/UK co-production 'cause they always have an American actor in it too. (OK, so she's Canadian, but she appeals to same.) This year we have Carrie Anne Moss, and she's great.

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It's worth the wait. I bought last year's season on DVD too.

You can really tell that it's a US/UK co-production 'cause they always have an American actor in it too. (OK, so she's Canadian, but she appeals to same.) This year we have Carrie Anne Moss, and she's great.

Yes, last year's special guest Yank was William Hurt.  Another good choice. :thumbup:

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Ok, that is going to fuel my nightmares to the brim: 

n2bsoiiluqdjimcysmce.gif

 

I still wonder if, even given their features like social interaction, facial recognition, etc.  will these facsimiles of human beings ever truly one day cross a threshold into sentience?  As the state of the art is now, they're anthropomorphized smartphones.   But can/will they ever be more?   Hmmm...

I wonder if the singularity will occur in my lifetime.  But seeing how humans currently treat other humans who possess only minor differences?   I can't imagine how we'd 'welcome' an entirely new class of anthropomorphic machine-life.   I don't see it ending well.  :S

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Ok, that is going to fuel my nightmares to the brim: 

n2bsoiiluqdjimcysmce.gif

 

I still wonder if, even given their features like social interaction, facial recognition, etc.  will these facsimiles of human beings ever truly one day cross a threshold into sentience?  As the state of the art is now, they're anthropomorphized smartphones.   But can/will they ever be more?   Hmmm...

I wonder if the singularity will occur in my lifetime.  But seeing how humans currently treat other humans who possess only minor differences?   I can't imagine how we'd 'welcome' an entirely new class of anthropomorphic machine-life.   I don't see it ending well.  :S

I kind of think it's a red herring. If artificially intelligent sentience occurs, it won't initially be housed in something like this. It'll occur elsewhere, and if it can be bothered with a body at all, it won't build itself something like, as you say, an anthropomorphized smartphone. These things are human-o-centric.

Of course, I could be totally wrong - maybe it will - maybe it'll want to. But I imagine it'll want something more practical for its own purposes at first. And those purposes my be inscrutable to us. Not that it will matter - it'll only build things (or inhabit things already built) like this if it serves its purpose.

 

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The discussion of series 2 of HUMANS begins...

http://io9.gizmodo.com/amcs-humans-is-no-westworld-and-thats-why-its-so-good-1792318315

I've already seen this season, and loved it. It's low-budget as hell, but damn it's entertaining, always accessible and never less than provocative. Long after I finished watching it, i was still thinking about it.

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The discussion of series 2 of HUMANS begins...

http://io9.gizmodo.com/amcs-humans-is-no-westworld-and-thats-why-its-so-good-1792318315

I've already seen this season, and loved it. It's low-budget as hell, but damn it's entertaining, always accessible and never less than provocative. Long after I finished watching it, i was still thinking about it.

^

I'm SOOOOO there. :thumbup:

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The discussion of series 2 of HUMANS begins...

http://io9.gizmodo.com/amcs-humans-is-no-westworld-and-thats-why-its-so-good-1792318315

I've already seen this season, and loved it. It's low-budget as hell, but damn it's entertaining, always accessible and never less than provocative. Long after I finished watching it, i was still thinking about it.

^

I'm SOOOOO there. :thumbup:

What I love about HUMANS is that it sort of knows that it's slightly creaky around the edges, but there's so much ambition - conceptually and philosophically. They cram a lot of story in. Everyone gives it their all. 

Very interested to see what you think! :) 

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The discussion of series 2 of HUMANS begins...

http://io9.gizmodo.com/amcs-humans-is-no-westworld-and-thats-why-its-so-good-1792318315

I've already seen this season, and loved it. It's low-budget as hell, but damn it's entertaining, always accessible and never less than provocative. Long after I finished watching it, i was still thinking about it.

^

I'm SOOOOO there. :thumbup:

What I love about HUMANS is that it sort of knows that it's slightly creaky around the edges, but there's so much ambition - conceptually and philosophically. They cram a lot of story in. Everyone gives it their all. 

Very interested to see what you think! :) 

^
I had a nice little reply this morning, but Trekcore OS went offline... 
:ohmy:

Seems to be all better now, but I'm damned if I can remember what I'd said.   :P

At any rate, I am really looking forward to S2 of Humans.   And I don't mind if it's a bit rough around the edges at all.  I love that "Humans" is set in a 'future' that's basically now, but with one key technological difference; the invention of artificial humans.  You have laptops, cars, microwave ovens and... androids.  The allegory to slavery and dehumanization of each other is much more sharp when it takes place in 'our' world than in some quasi-futuristic Tomorrowland kind of place.  

The closest I'd ever seen to this approach was the short-lived but initially ambitious "Caprica"; which was more "Gattaca" in its look than Star Wars/Trek.   What's left is science fiction without all of the gaudy wrapping paper.

Imagine how much money and agony Ridley Scott could've saved if he'd used that approach in 1982...:laugh:

SaveSave

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Okay, now that I'm up to speed on S2 of HUMANS, I'd like to throw a few observations here in the appropriate thread:

 

********* SPOILERS FOR HUMANS S2: Read at your own risk! **********


First off; I'd like to say this new season of the show has been a surprisingly smooth continuation of the ideas and character developments in S1.   The segue was pretty much effortless.  After a hiatus that seemed like forever (I'd actually changed DVRs in the interim and forget to set my new one for the show until now), I was right back in that world.   Okay, now onto specifics:

*  The new addition to the cast, Carrie Anne Moss ("Athena Morrow") is a welcome one.   I was never the biggest fan of "The Matrix" but she is really in her element on this show.  Far from the token Yank (as William Hurt seemed a little bit last year), Athena's work in AI and trying to bridge the gap between synths and human consciousness transference is (on the surface) not too dissimilar from some ideas in Star Trek (TOS' "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"  "I, Mudd", TNG's "Schizoid Man") and the new Battlestar Galactica (and its spinoff Caprica).  But in this series' format, the idea could really get the full exploration it deserves.   It's also a logical step for Athena's research, regarding her daughter's tragic vegetative state.   I also like Athena's non-anamorphized AI in her desktop too; and the question arises... does IT have rights?  Even without a 'body'?   

*  The resurrection of Odi (the tragic 'broken boy' of William Hurt's George).  His body language reminds me of a broken doll; Pinocchio with cut strings... beautiful acting.  Will Tudor is probably the series' best physical actor, and on this show?  That's saying a HELL of a lot. 

* So glad Max is back!  Ivanno Jeremiah is just a marvelous actor; he can say more with just a slight smile or a sideways glance... so help me, if I were casting something that needed an instantly sympathetic character?  He'd be the first person I'd call, so help me.   I also like his taking a stand AGAINST his longtime ally Leo... I hope the show continues to follow Max's independent destiny.

* Mia's relationship with the down-on-his-luck cafe owner (name temporarily escapes me) is sweet, sad and definitely strikes a chord with any relationship (past or present) that suffers from a falsely unequal status quo imposed by artificial societal standards; such as interracial couples in the Jim Crow US southern states for example, or gay relationships in many parts of the US today (despite the legality of gay marriage).   Once again, Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica comes to mind; with Helo's relationship with Sharon Valerii (the Cylon).   Eager to see where this is going.  And Gemma Chan is one of the most beautiful women on the planet, so help me...

* Niska's love affair with the German girl hits many nails on the head; gay relationships, human-synth relationships, the measure of love itself, and the definition of the human experience (no less).  Niska surrendering herself to human 'justice' also brings to mind one of my favorite TNG episodes, "Measure of a Man", but with the harder edge of THIS show.   

* Also enjoying Pete Drummond and Kate (his secret synth); their relationship has all of the troubles of basic domesticity (the bed shopping scene was cute), coupled with the lack of acceptance of one partner in society's eyes.   Pete is happy; and we even see him take care of Kate when her bag ruptures (as a husband of a wife with an unpredictable medical issue, I related very strongly with that moment).   They are what Mia and her cafe owner beau could be in a few years or more.   I find their relationship, however secretive, to be very moving; and a classic example of "If it works for them?  Let them be." 

 

I agree with Robin Bland's assertion that this series more efficiently covers much of the same territory as its more lavishly overproduced HBO cousin, "Westworld"; and I also agree that "Humans" is a lot more easy to jump into.   If a non-scifi fan were curious about a show to explore artificial intelligence?  I'd probably steer them in the direction of "Humans" rather than WW.   WW is amazing, but it's not as easy or accessible for a non-science fiction audience to get into IMO.

And another great thing about "Humans" is that it doesn't waste time/energy/expense on world-building; it's like the Anti-"Blade Runner."  This is essentially OUR world TODAY; not some distant future with flying cars, or giant western theme parks that seemingly cover an entire state.    "Humans" is a world with laptops, cars, trucks, boring jobs, television, etc. and it just happens to have one key difference; anthropomorphic computers that are capable of sentience.   But other than this ONE key difference?  It's essentially OUR world.    Humans isn't set in one of the twelve colonies of Kobol, a far off dystopian future, or a galaxy far, far away.   

It's relatability is one of its smartest assets.   It makes the fantastic idea of sentient androids much more real to the audience.   Like you could buy one today if our universe were only slightly tweaked...

It also makes you look at your desktop or iPad a little differently too... ;)

 

 

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17 hours ago, Sehlat Vie said:

Okay, now that I'm up to speed on S2 of HUMANS, I'd like to throw a few observations here in the appropriate thread:

 

********* SPOILERS FOR HUMANS S2: Read at your own risk! **********


First off; I'd like to say this new season of the show has been a surprisingly smooth continuation of the ideas and character developments in S1.   The segue was pretty much effortless.  After a hiatus that seemed like forever (I'd actually changed DVRs in the interim and forget to set my new one for the show until now), I was right back in that world.   Okay, now onto specifics:

*  The new addition to the cast, Carrie Anne Moss ("Athena Morrow") is a welcome one.   I was never the biggest fan of "The Matrix" but she is really in her element on this show.  Far from the token Yank (as William Hurt seemed a little bit last year), Athena's work in AI and trying to bridge the gap between synths and human consciousness transference is (on the surface) not too dissimilar from some ideas in Star Trek (TOS' "What Are Little Girls Made Of?"  "I, Mudd", TNG's "Schizoid Man") and the new Battlestar Galactica (and its spinoff Caprica).  But in this series' format, the idea could really get the full exploration it deserves.   It's also a logical step for Athena's research, regarding her daughter's tragic vegetative state.   I also like Athena's non-anamorphized AI in her desktop too; and the question arises... does IT have rights?  Even without a 'body'?   

*  The resurrection of Odi (the tragic 'broken boy' of William Hurt's George).  His body language reminds me of a broken doll; Pinocchio with cut strings... beautiful acting.  Will Tudor is probably the series' best physical actor, and on this show?  That's saying a HELL of a lot. 

* So glad Max is back!  Ivanno Jeremiah is just a marvelous actor; he can say more with just a slight smile or a sideways glance... so help me, if I were casting something that needed an instantly sympathetic character?  He'd be the first person I'd call, so help me.   I also like his taking a stand AGAINST his longtime ally Leo... I hope the show continues to follow Max's independent destiny.

* Mia's relationship with the down-on-his-luck cafe owner (name temporarily escapes me) is sweet, sad and definitely strikes a chord with any relationship (past or present) that suffers from a falsely unequal status quo imposed by artificial societal standards; such as interracial couples in the Jim Crow US southern states for example, or gay relationships in many parts of the US today (despite the legality of gay marriage).   Once again, Ron Moore's Battlestar Galactica comes to mind; with Helo's relationship with Sharon Valerii (the Cylon).   Eager to see where this is going.  And Gemma Chan is one of the most beautiful women on the planet, so help me...

* Niska's love affair with the German girl hits many nails on the head; gay relationships, human-synth relationships, the measure of love itself, and the definition of the human experience (no less).  Niska surrendering herself to human 'justice' also brings to mind one of my favorite TNG episodes, "Measure of a Man", but with the harder edge of THIS show.   

* Also enjoying Pete Drummond and Kate (his secret synth); their relationship has all of the troubles of basic domesticity (the bed shopping scene was cute), coupled with the lack of acceptance of one partner in society's eyes.   Pete is happy; and we even see him take care of Kate when her bag ruptures (as a husband of a wife with an unpredictable medical issue, I related very strongly with that moment).   They are what Mia and her cafe owner beau could be in a few years or more.   I find their relationship, however secretive, to be very moving; and a classic example of "If it works for them?  Let them be." 

 

I agree with Robin Bland's assertion that this series more efficiently covers much of the same territory as its more lavishly overproduced HBO cousin, "Westworld"; and I also agree that "Humans" is a lot more easy to jump into.   If a non-scifi fan were curious about a show to explore artificial intelligence?  I'd probably steer them in the direction of "Humans" rather than WW.   WW is amazing, but it's not as easy or accessible for a non-science fiction audience to get into IMO.

And another great thing about "Humans" is that it doesn't waste time/energy/expense on world-building; it's like the Anti-"Blade Runner."  This is essentially OUR world TODAY; not some distant future with flying cars, or giant western theme parks that seemingly cover an entire state.    "Humans" is a world with laptops, cars, trucks, boring jobs, television, etc. and it just happens to have one key difference; anthropomorphic computers that are capable of sentience.   But other than this ONE key difference?  It's essentially OUR world.    Humans isn't set in one of the twelve colonies of Kobol, a far off dystopian future, or a galaxy far, far away.   

It's relatability is one of its smartest assets.   It makes the fantastic idea of sentient androids much more real to the audience.   Like you could buy one today if our universe were only slightly tweaked...

It also makes you look at your desktop or iPad a little differently too... ;)

 

 

A great precis of all the show has to offer there, Sehlat. Seeing all those elements laid out there like that I realize quite how intricate HUMANS is with all its plot strands and characters. It's driven by those, and isn't afraid to embrace all the philosophical themes that branch off from them, either. Sometimes i feel as if the writers haven't fully fleshed out a theme, but this is actually me being greedy and is a positive thing - it always leaves you wanting more. S2 deinitely ups the ante in all sorts of surprising and provocative ways and I hope like hell it gets renewed for S3 because i just really want to see where they go with it next.

I think one of WW's problems is that it isolates its world, and asks you as a viewer to just accept certain givens without exploring them - the park just "is." it exists, because we, the makers, say so. Oh, and there's a maze, too. It begins by stretching credulity - which is fine - but then doesn't provide the background necessary for you to fully embrace it. It asks for so much goodwill on the part of the viewer, which, as much as I like its ambition, becomes an ongoing storytelling problem and is, I think, my essential problem with it.

HUMANS just shows you the world with the vital difference of the synths existing within it - and then isn't afraid to branch off and explore all of it.

Oh yeah, and all of the HUMANS cast is great, but you're so right about  Ivanno Jeremiah. Max is one of my fave characters. Now... there's a human being being very human in all the best ways. 

 

...On a related note, seeing as this is the AI thread, I also recently watched Morgan, which is directed by Luke Scott, Ridley Scott's son. Superficially, it bears a resemblance to Ex_Machina, in that it's about an artificial human being in a sort of lab environment out in the woody boondocks somewhere. It has none of the Ex_Machina script's intelligence, unfortunately, nor its desire to disturb. I'm still thinking about Ex_Machina about a year after I first saw it and am still grappling with some of the ideas it presented - sign of a good film, in my book. Morgan is pretty much a by-the-numbers thriller with a good cast and it's very nicely shot. The script sets up some possibilities but then descends into some really dumb stuff though, with a through-line that even a self-respecting comic book wouldn't use because it's just too hackneyed. You stay with it because the performances are all watertight, but every time you think it's going to do or say something interesting about the moral world it sort of vaguely sets up, it then does something completely predictable. It's very glossy, albeit low-budget, but doesn't even have any of the oddball nuances or creativity of, say, The Machine (see upthread) which, for all its flaws, manages to be a much more entertaining and engaging movie.

I suppose the one difference between Morgan and Ex_Machina and The Machine is that its central Ai character is created from manipulated, artificial DNA - the title character is grown rather than "built." I'm not sure why I'm mentioning that, other than the fact that I'm looking for something to say to distinguish this otherwise unremarkable movie. It'll divert you for an hour-and-a-half while you're watching it, but you won't remember it or want to watch it again like either of the other films I've mentioned.

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