”The challenge is to show you that she is a robot, and then see if you still feel she has consciousness”, Nathan says.
The movie Ex Machina tells the story about an experiment with AI. Nathan has programmed a humanoid robot. The robot, Ava, has surpassed the Turing Test, but Nathan wants to test if Ava can convince a human, who knows that she is a robot, that she is capable of thought and consciousness. Therefore Caleb has meeting sessions with Ava, where he interacts with her and judges her consciousness.
Obviously the movie tells a story about the development of AI and robotics and it has a sci-fi feeling. But between the lines, Ex Machina asks philosophical questions about the nature of AI, compares the human brain to the mechanic and challenges the common beliefs of existence – in a posthuman context.
”In the posthuman, there are no essential differences or absolute demarcations between bodily existence and computer simulation, cybernetic mechanism and biological organism, robot teleology and human goals.” (Herbrechter, s. 42)
In the movie Caleb and Ava keeps getting closer to each other. When Caleb sees Ava showing emotions, he starts doubting that he is not an AI rather than doubting her. He probably thought his emotions were proof he was not AI, but when knowing Ava is and seeing her showing emotions, he doubts himself.
So, as the movie asks, if we cannot distinct robots from humans by our emotional capabilities – then how can we? Or can we even?
(By the way. I tried to leave out any spoilers. Watch this movie if you haven’t! 🙂 )