Cinerama: Artificial Intelligence: AI

Posted: September 11, 2009 in Cinerama

Artificial Intelligence: AI

By Mike Derderian

Ever wondered how it feels to be a human? What changes will I undergo? Is it different than the way I feel now? Imagine yourself an android living endlessly but not aimlessly. Time to me is like space to humans: a mystery.

You’re a human; can’t you tell me what happens when my batteries go bad? What is a soul and how can I have one?

Can’t we go to BIO-OA and download me a soul! I believe Professor Phillip has the software we need.

Dreaming of Cybertronic deliverance, which will enable man to reach the statehood of a deity, will only be the downfall of humanity. Yet, I admit that this cyber Eden we are trying to create her on Earth, using robotics, has a sweet taste to it and sounds too divine. I envy the people who will be born after me.

Call me a dreamer but imagine yourself turned into an android, a step which will enable you to live far into the distant future, and I don’t mean plugged to a life sustaining a machine, but the real thing—organic flesh layered metal plates replacing your skin; electric wires instead of your blood vessels; electronic circuits as your neurological system; a hydro-cooling system as your sweat glands; and a cerebral computer chip plugged into the only living organ left from the physical existence you were: your brain.

If you’ve made it this far reading, congratulations you’re an Artificial Intelligence being, just like David, the little android in Steven Spielberg’s screen adaptation of Brian Aldis’ Super-Toys Last All Summer Long.

There is no denial that Spielberg’s masterpiece wouldn’t have come to existence if Stanley Kubrick hadn’t died, for AI was the latter’s life long postponed project if not dream.

If you tend to differ call me twenty years from now, when it will be named best sci-fi film, just like Ridley Scott’s 1982 Blade Runner did this year topping Star Wars—George Lucas, eat your heart out.

To see David live on screen (one must give credit to an outstanding Haley Joel Osment) would have been quite an experience for Kubrick, whose directorial odyssey led to the creation of cinema cult classics. Films like Clockwork Orange, 1971; 2001: Space Odyssey, 1968; Full Metal Jacket, 1987; and Dr Strangelove, 1964; were only tip of the Kubrick-berg, however Spielberg redefined the term “fitting into one’s shoes.”

The 2001 Artificial Intelligence: AI, in more than one word is sweet, grim, horrific, disappointing, a visual masterpiece (ok two words) glorious and humane. You’ll love and hate it, wish you hadn’t seen it and regret not to, for you would only miss your own tears falling at the end.

It’s the story of a boy-android called David, the first of a new Mecha lineup (mechanic) specially built to replace a family’s deceased child. In other words, provide love to its adopting mother and father.

Imagine loving a machine. Of course, the film will appear slow in pace and dull to those less patient film goers seeking more action than philosophy; however, if you are tolerant enough and haven’t turned off the DVD half way through the film then you’ll experience a horrible intellectual rush.

Along Osment, the movie cats Frances O’Connor, Jude Law, Sam Robards, Jake Thomas and William Hurt as Professor Hoabby, however, Law’s portrayal of a love Mecha is a scene stealer. No, him being chosen the sexiest man alive had nothing to do with it but the guy knows how to act.

After being proclaimed a scientific revolution in the field of robotics by Habby, David is sent to the Swintons (Robards and O’Conner) to fill in the emotional void resulting from their son’s absence. Martin (Thomas), their son, is cryogenically frozen. At that point it is up to Monica to decide whether to keep David or not through reading a special sequence of words that will engrave her forever in his memory as his mother. Once the words are read the little Mecha will love her forever, meaning it shouldn’t be abandoned or thrown away if things didn’t work out. Yes, she abandons him, because if she didn’t the film would have a give-away-easy-happy-ending. The above sentence is merely a teaser so don’t worry, I didn’t ruin the film.

Going deep into AI you’ll find out that Aldis’ short story headed towards a very bleak 21st century version of Italian writer Carlo Colodi’s Pinocchio. However, unlike Disney’s 1940 animated version, this film is PG 13 so it is not a simple Pinocchio going electronic and looking for Geppetto plot.

How does Pinocchio fit into all this? Well, David believes that if he finds the Blue Fairy, whom he heard of through Monica’s bedtime story, than she will turn him into a real boy and his mother will love him again. Talk about the wrong book to read to a child-droid.

Keep on reading and I’ll tell you in a few weeks time how the complex plot of AI was finalized and Spielberg got to direct this extraordinary visual child’s fantasy of sorrow and love. I will also take you to Rouge City where androids and humans co-exist.

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