AI: Artificial Intelligence (2001)

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David Swinton (Haley Joe Osment) is a robot boy programmed to love his human "family" members when it seems that the latter are about to lose their real son. But they don't and David becomes surplus to requirements and is cast adrift. It is dangerous for lost robots out there in the human world. David is befriended (in an OK way) by sex-robot Gigolo Joe (Jude Law). Dir: Steven Spielberg.

There are some obvious parallels with Blade Runner. In that movie, androids that come to earth are hunted down although there it is by the state rather than by twisted individuals. In AI, the emphasis is on the questions of consciousness and of human responsibility to an AI that it has created. If the story has a flaw, and let us assume that an AI can be created someday, and let us also pass over the ET-like ending and its dodgy space-time issues, it is that David is suspended in development as a small child whereas a true `I', `A' or otherwise, surely has the potential to develop, and thus the ending should be quite different?

Brian Aldiss wrote Supertoys Last All Summer Long in 1969. Stanley Kubrick bought the film rights in 1982 but had not made a film of it by the time of his death in 1999. Steven Spielberg, who collaborated with Kubrick, made Artificial Intelligence, which was released in 2001.

Brian Aldiss wrote an essay Like human like machine, New Scientist #2308, pp.40-43, 15 Sept. 2001, a reflection upon his short story and the film, Artificial Intelligence. He says that in science fact, as opposed to science fiction, consciousness is as mysterious as ever and the prospect of programming it seems more distant than ever.

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