Alex Garland's Ex Machina

Given the Bald Move love for Garland's Annihilation, I'd love to see them go back and review Ex Machina since it doesn't look like they caught it first time around. I know commissions are no longer a thing, but I thought I'd throw this movie out as something for them to consider when there is no first run movie. I imagine it would lead to some great discussion.

Jim's opinion of how the AI depicted compares to how his base code was written would be interesting to say the least <span>:smiley:</span>
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Comments

  • Ex Machina may be my pick for best science fiction movie of the decade.
    CretanBullMurderbear
  • Ex Machina has one of the hallmarks of what makes a movie great (to me anyway!)....I really like it as I was watching it, but in the days and even weeks after watching it, I liked it even more.  The longer I had to digest some of the ideas, concepts, how they presented things etc my opinion of the movie - which was already high to begin with - grew.
  • MurderbearMurderbear Cold Spring, Ky
    Yes, Ex Machina is fantastic! It's a long shot to happen but I would love to hear them talk about it. It's right up their alley.
  • Agree with all of the above. Its been years since I studied AI and theory of mind in college, but I thought the movie did a fantastic job of communicating really complex ideas from the field well. Didn't really dumb anything down and still managed to do justice to some critical ideas and tell a pretty tight dramatic story too.  It was clear watching it that Garland did his homework and after seeing the special features it turns out he did. He even shows enough humility to know he's barely scratched the surface.

    I won't say its perfect, but it's gotten better every time I've watched it and it's one of my favorite movies to watch with someone for the first time.  
    Elisa
  • Garthgou81Garthgou81 Placerville, CA
    It’s so good and right up the guys’ alley
  • IIRC I had problems with the way the main character behaved. I think it was established that he was desperate for a girlfriend, but still.
  • I would really enjoy listening to the guys take on this movie.  I went into it knowing nothing about it and what it was even about and I thought it was a damn good movie.  I feel like this is another movie Jim and A Ron would sing high praise for just like they did Arrival and Annihilation.
  • edited May 21
    I'm so glad you guys did get a chance to watch this and really enjoyed your podcast on the movie.

    A couple things I wanted to add to the discussion is that I wonder how much we're supposed to see the various sessions as Ava testing Caleb vs Caleb testing Ava since I believe the last on screen message shows up during the escape itself. If that is true, I see a possible explanation of why she leaves Caleb behind is that she doesn't know whether she can trust him because by his own admission he showed up to test her and while he hasn't been as antagonistic as Nathan, she doesn't know for sure whether Caleb is manipulating her as well. Plus if they left together there would be more of a concern of Caleb being a liability to her passing for human. I believe that in the last shot of her leaving she does glance toward Caleb's door as the elevator closes.  While she could lack empathy, I could also see her as having empathy but making a raw survival based decision in the same way as a human in that situation where they are unsure if they could trust someone who could be their captor. She's not ready to kill Caleb outright, maybe assuming he'll find someway out without risking her, but that doesn't automatically mean she's cold blooded. 

    All of this is to say I love the ambiguity of the ending because that gets to the fundamental problem of how we try to figure out what is going on in the minds of others. We reach for outward signs, and cross check different behaviors to try to divine what is in the mind of other people since we lack direct access. It's no different with Ava with the exception that we know there are differences in the substrate of her mind. Whether those differences amount to anything meaningful is an open question.
    JaimieT
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited May 21
    Jim nailed it about me being exhausted with anything about free will or AI lately. A huge reason I couldn't get into Devs. BUT I saw Ex Machina a while back so I really dug it. 

    I don't remember having much problem with Ava leaving Caleb like that. I wonder if it's because I'm a woman and I have experience with the subtle assessments you have to make about men. An interesting metaphor I don't think the movie was going for (IIRC).

    Edit: Oh A.Ron is going to actually talk about this, nice. *settles in*
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    edited May 21
    About 2 years ago some colleagues and I jump in an Uber in Chicago and the driver asks us what's at the convention center and what do we do.  We say we sell robots and he goes right into this big thing about Singularity.  I'd never heard of it but one of my colleagues had and next thing you know this guy is talking about the end of the world and demons and I'm thinking 'whoah whoah whoah, slow down buddy.'

    But it did get me down a big rabbit hole that I hadn't thought about again until Jim & A.Ron's Ex-Machina coverage.  If you ever want to spook yourself out start googling stuff like:  Geordie Rose, "Tsunami of Demons", singularity, quantum computing, D-wave Systems, etc.  

    I was at a robot partnership conference last year and one of the guest speakers was a head tech guy at TE Connectivity, a big player in AI development (and the behind-the-scenes driving force for the movie Alita: Battle Angel).  Let's just say there is some wild shit going on right now at a super rapid pace.  I don't think you need to ask yourself 24th century or 21st century; I think it's more like are we going to need to start having some of these conversations J&A were talking about within the next 10 years... 
    bizmarkiefader
  • bizmarkiefaderbizmarkiefader San Francisco
    cdrive said:


    I was at a robot partnership conference last year and one of the guest speakers was a head tech guy at TE Connectivity, a big player in AI development (and the behind-the-scenes driving force for the movie Alita: Battle Angel).  Let's just say there is some wild shit going on right now at a super rapid pace.  I don't think you need to ask yourself 24th century or 21st century; I think it's more like are we going to need to start having some of these conversations J&A were talking about within the next 10 years... 

    AI and machine learning also have a tendency to be way overhyped in terms of where we actually are and what we can realistically do with it. There could be some big breakthroughs that change things rapidly but at this point I'm in believe it when I see it mode.
    cdriveJaimieT
  • I busted out laughing when Jim commented about Jared Leto being good in some movies like... Lord of War??? He was fine in that movie, but c'mon Jim, how about Requiem for a Dream or his performance in Dallas Buyer's Club that won him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor!  :D
  • Yep, those are a couple of great movies. They just didn't come to mind. Not sure why I had Lord of War on the brain but it is what it is.
    gguenot
  • mrcharles said:
    I busted out laughing when Jim commented about Jared Leto being good in some movies like... Lord of War??? He was fine in that movie, but c'mon Jim, how about Requiem for a Dream or his performance in Dallas Buyer's Club that won him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor!  :D
    His best role is acting like a musician in 30 seconds to Mars 
    ChinaskiJim
  • Garland is the perfect writer/director to me. His subject material is right up my alley and everything he's done is thought provoking. That's exactly what I want in my entertainment. I liked Ex Machina and Annihilation, but I thought Devs was even better. 
    Christian
  • Just listened to the podcast for Ex Machina and thought I’d share a short story which probes some of the questions Jim and A.ron had about world-building for AI. Check out Summer Frost by Blake Couch for an interesting read. Most of the short stories in the Forward anthology are pretty good. 
  • @wpavao Blake Crouch is a name I've heard before. Actually, thanks for bringing him up because you helped me find the name of the book I wanted to read last year before my library app wiped all of my holds; Recursion! My library doesn't have the Forward anthology, unfortunately. I'll have to get it elsewhere.
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