With the current discussion of A.I. and how we spend millions of dollars on improving technology economically, productivity, and pleasurably, we still seem to not get away from the modern approach of the ambiguous nature of the utilization in making a conscious mind within a machine to be more open. While not original, the film still provides an academic revelation with some incredible dark tones, and articulation. So, here's what I've learned.
Through the trapped glass.
Various scenes between Caleb and Ava, known as "sessions" are tests run by Nathan, who created Ava, and allow conversations to flow in order to understand if Ava is qualified to live among humans. There is a sense of freedom and entrapment during and after the interactions as Caleb's sympathy of wanting to set Ava free is engulfed by Nathan's determination, not to mention ruthlessness, to corrupt both of them. One of them is near the door, while the other is behind a healthy growing tree. This shows whether or not after Nathan makes clear she was using to an unknowable extent Caleb in order to be set free, is or was at any point conscious of what she is doing. Depending on what your view is after seeing the ending, it shows how grave the conscious side is.
Which type are you?
The scene with the Jackson Pollock the iconic drip-painter makes it clear after Caleb asks Nathan if he programmed Ava to like and flirt with him. With the quick crash course of painting, Nathan explains how the artist let his hand go where it wanted: not deliberate but not random, only somewhere in between. What makes a subject conscious then? What is the real Turing Test? The answer is somewhere in between deliberated actions and random actions; the space between programming and anarchy. Here, clearly, Ava was not doing anything random, in fact far from it — she planned her escape with Caleb. No, the challenge is whether or not Ava actions were automatic. As Nathan said, the challenge is to find an action that is not automatic, “from talking, to breathing, to painting — to fucking, to falling in love.”
Death by art.
It's ironic when creators make their own art and it with so much influence, and structure, and power, it can change the world and then one day it backfires, leading to certain death and destruction for the creator. The words "Fucking unreal" as told by Nathan kept replying and are the two key words towards the end. After everything, Ex Machina’s deep message is more about feeling than analytics and linguistic philosophy; as Nathan demands from Caleb his feelings as opposed to his analysis of Ava. Indeed, the real appeal of thought experiments, such as Mary’s Room and Searle’s Chinese Room, lies in their illustrative ability to expose deeply alien feelings: that Ava might have accomplished all she did without being conscious is one thought or feeling most of us would shudder at.
What did you think of Ex Machina? What were some things you found interesting?