Re: Movie Review - AI Artificial Intelligence

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Mon Jul 02 2001 - 20:40:47 MDT

At 09:31 AM 7/2/01 -0700, Hal wrote:

>The robots and such
>are just a vehicle to tell stories about people today. The movie is
>not about people's inhumanity to robots, it's about people's inhumanity
>to people. It's not about a robot who learns to love, it's about love
>itself and the pain and joy it can bring.

Yes. Of course. What's more, if Brian Aldiss's originating short story
`Supertoys...' has any sustained relevance to the movie's plot/mood, it is
about the bitter irony of people behaving `like robots'. David, in his tale
(and its two sequels), *is* a robot uttering canned responses which can
elicit emotional responses from humans (who are equally canned, therefore,
or at least readily fooled); but what's more biting is the way his humans
repeatedly speak and act from motives that escape their understanding (as
do we all, imply Aldiss and his favorite analytical psychologists), that
are driven by templates no less `mechanical' than the subroutines driving a
pseudo-boy--ways captured inadvertently in the very rote phrases they use
to describe their feelings to themselves.

At its bleakest, then, it's not just about love and pain and joy and the
whole damned thing, it's about how love and pain and joy are hopelessly
compromised by the artifice of culture, especially of postindustrial
culture. Many of us might take exception to that view, but I suspect it is
what spoke to Kubrick in his glacial observer's stance.

Damien Broderick

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