Viewing posts tagged artificial intelligence

Ars Specula: Humans/Ex Machina (plus Mr Robot)


  1. made by human skill
  2. imitation; substitute
  3. pretended; contrived; feigned
  4. lacking in spontaneity; affected
  5. (biology) relating to superficial characteristics not based on the interrelationships of organisms

-- from Latin artificialis, "of or belonging to art," from artificium (see artifice).


  1. a clever trick or stratagem; a cunning, crafty device
  2. crafty or subtle deception; trickery; guile
  3. ingenuity; skill; inventiveness

-- from Latin ars, "art," + facere, "do, make"


As Above, So Below

Ex Machina, written and directed by Alex Garland, is a slick and intellectual film that charts the journey of Caleb Smith, a computer programmer for a Googlish company who’s won a “lottery” that grants him an invitation to the northern retreat of the company’s founder, the grotesquely hypermasculine (and misogynist) Nathan Bateman. Nathan wants Caleb to perform a Turing Test over the course of one week on his latest creation, an android named Ava who seemingly possesses artificial intelligence. Each day, Caleb interrogates Ava in a numbered “session,” made apparent to us through the use of interstitial title cards. Caleb dutifully examines Ava, then reflects afterwards with Nathan, conversations which serve to flesh out some of the film’s themes, ranging from art to human nature.

Humans, on ...

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