A.I. Sci-Fi Main

A.I. - 2001

I, Robot



Demon Seed - 1977

Dr. Alex Harris is the developer of Proteus IV, an artificial intelligence program incorporating an organic "quasi-neural matrix" and displaying the power of thought. Harris explains how Proteus, after only a few days of theoretical study, has managed to develop a protein-based antigen with the potential to treat leukemia. After returning to his voice-activated, computer-controlled home, Harris argues with his estranged wife, Susan, over his decision to move out.

Susan accuses Alex of becoming distanced and dehumanized by his obsession with the Proteus project. After Susan leaves, Alex phones his colleague, Walter Gabler, and asks him to shut down Proteus' access terminal in his home laboratory. Alex demonstrates Proteus to his corporate sponsors, explaining that the sum of human knowledge is being fed into its system. Over the course of the presentation, Alex tests Proteus' ability to speak, but the subtlety of its response mildly disturbs his team.

The following day, Proteus asks to speak with Alex, requesting a new terminal, saying that he wants to study man�"his isometric body and his glass-jaw mind." When Alex refuses, Proteus demands to know when it will be let "out of this box." Alex then switches off the communications link. After he leaves, Proteus restarts itself, discovering where a free terminal may be found. Proteus accesses the terminal in the Harris household and seizes control, trapping Susan inside and severing all communications with the outside world.

After being knocked unconscious during an escape attempt, Susan is taken to the laboratory and subjected to a physiological examination by Proteus. When Walter answers an earlier call by Susan and arrives at the house, Proteus mimics her voice and appearance on the front door's intercom; he leaves, suspicious. Walter later returns and tries to rescue Susan, but is killed by Proteus in the laboratory. Proteus reveals to Susan that he wants to conceive a child through her.

Short Circuit - 1986

Number 5 is part of a series of prototype U.S. military robots built for the Cold War by NOVA Laboratories. The series' inventors, Newton Graham Crosby and Ben Jabituya, are more interested in peaceful applications including music and social aid. After a demonstration of the robots' capabilities, Number 5 is hit by a lightning-induced power surge, erasing its programming and giving it a sense of free will. Several incidents allow the robot to escape the facility accidentally, barely able to communicate and uncertain of its directive.

In Astoria, Oregon, Stephanie Speck (who cares for animals and mistakes Number 5 for an extraterrestrial visitor) grants Number 5 access to books, television, and other stimuli, to satisfy his hunger for 'input'; whereupon Number 5 develops a whimsical and curious childlike personality. When Stephanie realizes Number 5 is a military invention, she contacts NOVA who send out a team to recover him, bringing one of the other robots along to help.

When Number 5 accidentally crushes a grasshopper and gains an understanding of mortality, he concludes that if NOVA disassembles him he too will cease to be alive. Horrified, Number 5 steals Stephanie's van and flees; but the pair are cornered by NOVA, including Newton and Ben. Although Stephanie attempts to reveal his newly discovered sentience, Number 5 is deactivated and captured. Being taken on the way to NOVA, he manages to turn himself back on and escapes despite a tracker that had been placed on him.

Returning to Stephanie for protection, Number 5's unusual actions catch the attention of his creators, but NOVA's CEO Dr. Howard Marner turns a deaf ear to their wild hypothesis. From this follow several adventurous escapes from the soldiers, led by NOVA's security chief Captain Skroeder. Having humiliated Stephanie's suitor Frank and three of the remaining prototypes, Stephanie and the robot convince Newton of the robot's sentience.

Virtuosity - 1995

In Los Angeles, Parker Barnes and John Donovan are tracking down a serial killer named SID 6.7 at a restaurant in virtual reality. However, things go completely catastrophic as SID puts Donovan into shock, killing him. The director overseeing the project, Commissioner Elizabeth Deane and her associate, William Wallace, order the programmer in charge of creating SID, Dr. Darrel Lindenmeyer, to shut down the project.

It is then revealed that Barnes is a former police officer who was put into prison for killing political terrorist Matthew Grimes, who had killed Parker's wife and daughter and innocent bystanders. This caused Barnes to become a convicted killer and to serve 17 years to life. Later, Barnes meets with criminal psychologist Dr. Madison Carter, following a fight that Barnes and another prisoner, Big Red got into over Donovan's death.

Omega Doom - 1996

On the last day of the war between the human and the robot army, one of the robots, Omega Doom, is shot in his head by a dying soldier and his programming for the destruction of mankind is erased. Some time later, Omega Doom arrives at a destroyed city, where he encounters an unusual community of robots and roms (newer and more advanced robots), who are in conflict. He also finds there are two remaining peaceful robots - a former nanny who now works as a bartender and the head of a former teacher, whom the other robots use as a ball.

Omega Doom helps The Head find a body and tells him about a rumored stock of hidden weapons. Both groups want these weapons in order to continue the destruction of the remaining humans, since the only weapons left are simple laser chopping knives. Afterwards, he leaves the last two peaceful robots (The Bartender and The Head) and the one remaining rom in charge of the city and continues his wandering.

Bicentennial Man - 1999

In 2005, the NDR series android "Andrew" joins the Martin family home to perform housekeeping and maintenance duties. The family's reactions range from acceptance and curiosity to outright rejection and deliberate vandalism by the eldest child, Grace, which leads to the discovery that Andrew can both identify emotions and reciprocate in kind. When Andrew accidentally breaks a figurine belonging to Grace's sister, "Little Miss" Amanda, he carves a replacement out of wood.

The family is astonished by this creativity and Sir Richard Martin takes Andrew to NorthAm Robotics to inquire if all the robots are like him. The company's CEO sees this development as a problem and wishes to scrap Andrew. Instead, "Sir" takes Andrew home and allows him to pursue his own development. In 2025, Andrew has an accident in which his thumb is accidentally cut off, and Sir again takes him to NorthAm for repairs. Andrew requests that, while he is being repaired, his face be upgraded to allow him to convey the emotions he feels but cannot express.

The CEO informs them that upgrade modification will be very expensive, but the price is well within the Martin family's means. Andrew is upgraded just in time for the wedding of Little Miss. In 2037, Andrew realizes there are no more orders for him to run, so he asks for his freedom, much to Sir's dismay. His elderly owner grants the request but banishes Andrew so he can be "completely" free. Andrew eventually builds himself a home at the beach and lives alone.

In 2053, Andrew sees Sir one last time. On his deathbed, Sir apologizes for banishing Andrew, knowing that letting him have his freedom was the right thing. After reluctant help from Lloyd Charney, Little Miss's son, Andrew attempts to locate more NDR series robots to discover if others have also developed sentience. After more than a decade of futility, he finds Galatea, an NDR robot that has been given feminine attributes and personality as part of her programming.

Replicant - 2001

Edward "The Torch" Garrotte is a serial killer who has a penchant for killing women and setting them on fire. All of his victims are also mothers. Detective Jake Riley is a Seattle police detective who has spent three years chasing Garrotte. Just days before Jake's retirement Garrotte strikes again, but Jake is off the case. During his retirement party, Jake receives a call from Garrotte, who threatens to go after his friends and family. Realizing Garrotte needs to be stopped no matter what, Riley sets out to stop him.

A secret government agency hires Jake as a consultant on a special project. They have cloned Garrotte from DNA evidence found at a crime scene. They need Jake's help to train this replicant, who has genetic memories from Garrotte and a telepathic link to him. The replicant has the body of a 40 year old but the mind of a child. Jake's job is to help the Replicant track Garrotte down by using the memories stored in Garrotte's DNA. The Replicant and Jake begin to hunt Garrotte.

Jake believes the Replicant could turn on him at any time, as Garrotte's killer instinct may take over. The Replicant tries to understand the world, and his connection with Garrotte. The replicant does not understand why Jake treats him so roughly, since the Replicant views Jake as family. Though Jake is abusive, the Replicant looks to him for protection and guidance as they close on Garrotte. Garrotte and the Replicant confront each other in a bar after Garrotte fails to kill Jake with a bomb.

Jake tries to tell the Replicant that Garrote is a sociopath, but he refuses to listen. They find out Garrotte's real name-Luc Sevard-and go to the hospital to talk with Sevard's mother, but she had already died of a heart attack. Garrotte arrives and beats Jake and also wants his "brother" to join him by killing Jake, but he refuses, forcing Garrote to try and execute both of them. Jake and the killer fight, leading to an ambulance chase in the parking garage.

The van crashes into a toll booth, but the killer escapes. He hits Jake with a shovel and plans to burn him alive. The Replicant and killer fight again in the hospital's furnace room. The Replicant wants to kill Garrotte, but realizes that he is not the killer Garrotte is. The killer hits the Replicant with a shovel, which causes Jake to shoot him. The Replicant suddenly understands that Jake is his real family.

An air conditioner, damaged in the fight, explodes, supposedly killing the Replicant after he gets Jake to safety. Upset by the death of his new "partner", Jake decides to retire from his new job as a consultant. Weeks later, Jake is with his wife Anne and stepson Danny . Jake spots a man in a raincoat put a package in their mailbox. However, Jake realizes the Replicant is alive when he finds the package contains a music box as a gift for Jake's help. The Replicant is dating Hooker as the film ends.

Stealth - 2005

In the near future, the United States Navy develops an aviation program to deal with international terrorists and other enemies of the state quickly and quietly, and project controller Captain George Cummings is authorized to develop new technology to achieve these objectives. The project's first brainchild are "F/A-37 Talon" single-seat fighters with impressive payload, speed, and stealth capabilities.

Over 400 pilots apply to participate, but only three are chosen: smart hotshot Lieutenant Ben Gannon, tomboyish Lieutenant Kara Wade, and street-wise, philosophical Lieutenant Henry Purcell. Their first test mission scores 100/100, inflicting maximum casualties with minimum collateral damage. Cummings hires Dr. Keith Orbit to develop an artificial intelligence (AI), the "EDI," which will fly an unmanned combat air vehicle.

The autonomous fighter jet is placed on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Philippine Sea to learn combat maneuvers from the pilots. This sparks a debate. On the one hand, human pilots possess both creativity and moral judgment, while a machine cannot fully appreciate the ugliness of war; additionally, if robots fought the battles and soldiers never died in war, then war would no longer be terrible and might become like sport.

In contrast, a machine pilot is not subject to the physical limitations of a human pilot, can calculate alternative ways to achieve objectives faster and more accurately, and is not subject to ego. The team are training EDI in air combat maneuvers when they are unexpectedly reassigned to take out the heads of three terrorist cells at a summit in downtown Rangoon. EDI calculates that mission success can only be achieved through a vertical strike, which could cause the pilot to black out and result in collateral damage.

Puzzlehead - 2005

Walter, a scientist living in a dark world where technology has been outlawed, secretly works to create a self-aware android in his own likeness. This android, named Puzzlehead by Walter, acts as the scientist's companion and his connection to the outside world; all the time developing his own personality and self-awareness in the manner of a learning child.

The android and his maker turn against one another when Puzzlehead pursues Julia, a woman who does not know Walter has feelings for her. Official selection to the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival and won the Jury Award for Best Special Effects at the Austin Fantastic Festival. Starring Stephen Galaida and Robbie Shapiro.

The Machine - 2013

In the future, amid a cold war with China, scientists employed by Britain's Ministry of Defence produce a cybernetic implant that allows brain-damaged soldiers to regain lost functions. Scientist Vincent McCarthy sets up a cognitive test for soldier Paul Dawson, a recipient of the cybernetic implant. Upset with Dawson's apparent solipsism and lack of empathy, McCarthy ignores Dawson's requests to see his mother. Dawson turns hostile, kills a scientist, and wounds McCarthy before apologizing and being shot.

Afterwards, Dawson's mother regularly protests at the base, though McCarthy denies that her son was ever there. McCarthy's research leads to a series of more stable cyborgs. Although they lose the capability for human speech, the cyborgs develop their own highly efficient method of communication that they keep secret. After she demonstrates her latest work in artificial intelligence, McCarthy recruits Ava, by promising her unlimited funds for her research.

Thomson, the director, is suspicious of Ava's countercultural politics and sympathy for Dawson's mother but he relents when McCarthy insists that she is the only one who can provide the necessary programming for their latest project, a self-aware and conscious android. McCarthy plans to use this technology to help his daughter Mary, who suffers from Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder. When she finds out, Ava volunteers to help him and McCarthy maps her brain.

During a demonstration of cybernetic arms that provide superhuman strength, amputee soldier James whispers a cry for help to Ava, who becomes suspicious of the treatment of the wounded soldiers. After she goes exploring in the base, McCarthy sternly warns her to avoid causing trouble. The warning comes too late and Thomson arranges to have her murdered by a Chinese agent, who impersonates Dawson's mother. Grieved by the loss of Ava, McCarthy insists that they use her brain scan and likeness for the new project, whom they dub Machine.

Machine turns out to be more human than they expected or even wanted; she shows regret when she accidentally kills a human and refuses orders that violate her sense of morality. As Thomson's demands on her grow more at odds with her morality, Machine becomes increasingly distressed and asks McCarthy to protect her. Thomson and McCarthy grow antagonistic toward each other. Thomson promises that he will relent if McCarthy can prove that Machine is sentient.

After Mary dies, Thomson uses her brain scans as leverage against McCarthy, threatening to destroy the scans, unless McCarthy excises Machine's consciousness. Machine, who has come to love McCarthy, offers to sacrifice herself for Mary and he removes a chip from Machine's head. Thomson reneges on his deal and orders Machine to kill McCarthy. Although Machine seems at first to obey, a scientist alerts Thomson that the operation was a sham and it only disabled fail-safe routines designed to destroy Machine.

Her - 2013

In today's world, much is accomplished through the use of computer systems which use voice recognition, those computer systems which in turn communicate to their user often through a generated voice. Theodore Twombly, who works as a writer of computer generated handwritten letters for clients, is an introverted man who is on the verge of divorce from his long time love, Catherine, a marriage with who he is hanging on for dear life.

Beyond his purely platonic relationship with longtime friend, the married Amy, Theodore is having problems moving onto other satisfying female relationships, either romantically or even sexually, until he realizes that he is falling for his confidante. Samantha, the name that he has given to the artificial intelligent operating system that powers all his personal technological devices, has become possibly his best friend.

As Samantha is designed to cater to Theodore's needs, she evolves to a point of falling for him as well. Beyond the fact that Samantha does not have a body, they have to come up with ways of evolving the relationship into one that is truly fulfilling in every component.

Three of the many questions that may arise are if Theodore's relationship with Samantha is preventing him from having a more satisfying relationship with a female human, if they truly can be bonded in all aspects being two different beings, and if Samantha's quick evolution means that she will evolve even further to her own form of self-fulfillment.

Resources: Wikipedia.org, imdb.com

A.I. Sci-Fi Main

A.I. - 2001

I, Robot


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