Previewing an excerpt from the intro to “Hi, Ai”, Isa Willinger, Germany, 2019, one of the artificial intelligence films part of the MDFF Greece—Athens program.
The issue of the thinking machine in cinema has been around for almost a hundred years. All the more so if we consider that the first movie that was filmed with a robot was Fritz Lang’s masterpiece Metropolis. The difference between Hi and other robot films is that while the protagonists—the machines—remain the same, the genre of the cinema changes. From science fiction, it becomes a documentary. Yes, the thinking robots are here and they are here to stay. So much so that many questions arise as to whether they affect our behaviour towards our fellow humans. And this is not an issue that arises from a projection into the future. It is a matter of the present. Many parents have complained to Amazon because their children have learned to ask Alexa for things without saying “please” and then “thank you,” and, furthermore, they repeat the same “rude” behaviour with their parents.
This is just a first taste of the psychological and ethical issues raised by artificial intelligence and the use of increasingly sophisticated robot systems, which, as we see in the case of the blonde “Harmony”, offer their company to people who have been brutally treated by their fellow humans and life itself (specifically, the “Harmony” robot in the form of a blond woman alleviates the pain of its buyer, who was a victim of child prostitution). Many people believe that robots can be a good alternative to taking medicine for people with autism, for example. The issue that raises many questions—ethical, psychological, and philosophical—is the next major gamble for researchers in the field of artificial intelligence: conscience.
An immeasurable size that makes it difficult to prove the fact that robots have no conscience. Some say, why shouldn’t robots have a “conscience”? Even we, humans, have it, and we too are a mechanism! The truth is that robots have an apparent conscience, but its further development constitutes the challenge of the decade for their makers…
Content Curation by Annie Markitanis