Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Artificial Intelligence

Filed under: Movies,Reviews — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

When A.I., the movie by Steven Speilberg staring Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law, came out, there was a whole website of cool stuff affiliated with the movie. I spent a day on the Internet just reading all the pretend magazine articles that had been created for the movie. There was an article about a man who was being convicted of murdering a house (and its artificial intelligence that had lived within it for years). There was an article about a woman who reprogrammed her robot to kill her husband and her trial for murder. There was a story about a man who was missing. The man’s name was the same as a name that had been slipped into the ending of some of the A.I. trailers.

The website built a huge mystery within my imagination about the implications of robots and our legal system. I had seen all of the trailers, but they didn’t explain Jude Law to me, so I figured this little robot boy became implicated in the missing status of this mysterious man named at the end of the trailers. I wanted to see the boy solve the mystery and go back home to his mommy. I was so stoked to see the movie, I made Stacey, Dan and Mike take me the first week it was out (unheard of for me).

Dan warned me it was going to suck, but how could it when the mystery on the website was so intriguing and beguiling? In short, Dan was right. The guys designing the website gave that movie far more interesting thought than the producers did. I walked out of that movie so angry I could spit bullets. I remember waiting in line in the bathroom afterwards. There was a whole line of angry women.

“What kind of mother would leave a kid in the forest? That doesn’t even make sense, even if the kid was a robot.”

“I think they were trying to be like a fairy tale or something, but what kind of fairytale ends with aliens?”

“What a stupid ending. The magical aliens can bring her to life, but only for one day?!”

“You can’t even get DNA from cut hair like that anyway. You have to get a follicle to get DNA and Teddy just had the hair that David cut. Don’t these guys watch Law and Order?”

“If David was so smart, why did he just keep begging the Blue Fairy for a million years? Don’t you think he would have noticed that she was just a freakin’ statue?”

“It was Gigolo Joe that was sentient anyway. David didn’t solve any of those puzzles it was all Gigolo Joe.”

“Hell, Teddy was smarter than David most of the time.”

Ok, some of those comments were from Mike, Stacey and Dan after I got out of the bathroom, but I tell you, there was an entire bathroom of angry women at the end of that movie. In fact, it has been four years since that movie came out and I’m still pissed as hell. Can you tell?

I think I’m so angry because the website was so much better than the movie. I had this elaborate murder mystery built up in my mind that involved that cute little kid from The Sixth Sense, except he’s a robot instead of a psychic this time. All of those articles about sentient cars and houses were totally cool.

This article reminded me of that totally cool website (which is gone as far as I can tell, replaced by a milquetoast version of its predecessor with “fun” games). The article is quoted here:


Fisherman and divers of Norway, If you happen to see a ten-foot long, robotic mini-submarine swimming off of your shores, please call the U.S. Navy. The service has been trying to find its mine-sweeping drone for a week, now, after the ‘bot failed to return to its mother ship, the USS Swift.</>

Swift has broken off its participation in a military exercise to look for the Battlespace Preparation Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, the AP reports.

“The ship has searched everywhere from the fjord leading into the southern town Kristiansand to deep ocean water some 30 kilometres out, where the waters can be as much as 580 metres deep,” the wire service says. “Because the sub could surface just about anywhere along Norway‘s coast, [Norwegian military spokesman Cmdr. Thom] Knustad appealed on national radio for Norwegians to be on the lookout for the torpedo-shaped, yellowish-orange device with a propeller on one end.”

The second that I saw this article, it reminded me of those articles written for the A.I. website. It was obvious to me. This drone went missing because it didn’t want to die. It didn’t want to be blown up looking for mines. It was running away. This article is one of the clues to the mystery. Maybe David will find the mine-sweeping drone and it will rescue him from the amphibicopter. That drone will move the Ferris wheel off the copter so that David and Teddy can escape and rescue Gigolo Joe from certain death. They’ll prove that Joe didn’t kill that man’s wife. To Hell with the Blue Fairy. To Hell with Mommy. To Hell with magical robots that look like aliens. Let’s solve a murder.

I sit poised at the brink of another robot movie, I, Robot. I think I’ll try to forget the last robot movie and think about this new one instead.


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