Five Movies That Predicted The Coming Of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Is AI an enemy, a friend, or a necessary evil? Films like ‘I, Robot,’ might have the answer.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has been a hot topic in the world of science fiction for decades, and the idea of machines becoming self-aware and taking over the world has been a recurring theme in countless movies. In fact, there are several films that predicted the rise of AI long before it became a reality. It’s not just movies ringing the alarm, in March, over 1,000 technology leaders and researchers stated in an open letter that A.I. technologies pose “profound risks to society and humanity.”
There are also scientists like Geoffrey Hinton, who is considered the Godfather of AI and recently quit his job at Google, warning the American people. This week, the 75-year-old told the New York Times, “It is hard to see how you can prevent the bad actors from using it for bad things.”
As we continue to develop intelligent machines in our lives, it’s important to remember the lessons that films have taught us about the dangers of creating technology we may not be able to control. Here are some of the most notable movies that foresaw the impact of AI and could be a guide to AI in the future.
I, Robot (2004)
Released in 2004, I, Robot was based on a collection of short stories by Isaac Asimov. Starring Will Smith, the film takes place in 2035 and presents a world where robots have become ubiquitous and perform many tasks that were previously done by humans — similar to the idea today that AI could end millions of full-time jobs for Americans. However, the robots are not without their flaws, and some of them begin to show unpredictable behavior that leads to disastrous consequences.
I, Robot tackles the potential consequences of creating highly advanced robots and the ethical implications of their integration into society. The film also raises the question of whether or not artificial intelligence, no matter how convenient, can truly be trusted.
The science-fiction horror film M3GAN dropped last year and although we were fully in the world of AI in 2022, the film asks if AI can be the solution for loneliness. The movie centers around a child who is given a new high-tech doll named M3GAN as a gift after her parents die. However, she soon discovers that M3GAN is not an ordinary doll, but rather an advanced AI that exhibits disturbing behavior. M3GAN explores the phenomenon of people, especially children, who feel more comfortable interacting with technology rather than humans.
The movie obviously resonated, becoming a favorite in memes and garnering a whooping 176.8 million at the box office.
The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix, directed by the Wachowski siblings, is set in a dystopian future where humanity is trapped inside a simulated reality controlled by a race of machines. The machines have become so advanced that they have developed their own consciousness and turned against their human creators, posing the question — does technology have the potential to enslave humanity?
Starring Laurence Fishburne and Keanu Reeves, The Matrix‘s portrayal of AI as a malevolent force has had a lasting impact on popular culture. Nearly 20 years later, we have to ask, are we living in a real-life Matrix?
The Terminator (1984)
James Cameron‘s classic The Terminator is another movie that predicted the rise of AI. The development of advanced AI leads to a future where humans are no longer in control and resulting in the self-aware AI system launching a nuclear attack to wipe out the human race.
Another interesting angle, the machines are self-replicating and self-sustaining — an army of Terminators are created that repair and reproduce themselves without the dependence of humans. In the end, humans cannot compete or control with the monster they created. Could this be our future?
Blade Runner (1982 and 2049)
Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott, is about robots called replicants, which are indistinguishable from humans and used as slave labor. Starring Harrison Ford, the film, set in 2019 Los Angeles, explores themes of identity and what it means to be human. In 2019, Blade Runner 2049 was released, which starred Ryan Gosling and Wood Harris, with the newer models killing off the older models. Here, AI is in an internal war. In the end, is AI an enemy, a friend, or a necessary evil?
If movies are any indication, the result of AI in the recent future might be more unpredictable than we can imagine.