Large Image Display: AI: Artificial Intelligence: Does Not Eat

AI: Artificial Intelligence is nothing if not a very stylish, artful film. It continually uses subtle ways to illuminate its point (and then bash you over the head with them, later). Here we see the first time robot child David sits down to dinner with his adoptive human family.

Mum and dad are both tucking into a good meal, really enjoying their food. David, is haloed by the lightshade, to signify he is different; with them but alone. You see, David cannot eat any human food. He?s not equipped to process it, and it?ll just fall down into his insides and gum up the works. This actually occurs a few scenes later, with some spinach.

So, he has an empty plate, and idle cutlery placed in front of him, to share the dinner experience, even if he cannot partake of it. As an android child, designed to be a child, David does not of course, understand, nor see the double standard displayed here. It is perhaps, the other side of the coin to the uncanny valley; the side not often thought of.

Whilst humans demonstratively have problems adapting to creatures that look almost human but not quite, just a little off ? zombies for example ? what is oft-ignored, is the issues facing the sentient intelligences themselves, when they are almost indistinguishable from human, but not quite. Especially so in cases such as this one, where the AI has been programmed, taught and conditioned, to believe it is the same as all those around it ? a child, loving his mother.

The whole concept smells a little of racism or specism, but it isn?t. It is simple lack of realisation. For an embodied AI to interact with humans, it needs the same capabilities from its body that you would expect if you put a living human brain in a robotic shell ? it would expect to be able to interact with humans, in the full range of expression.

Further Reading

Link: AI: Artificial Intelligence

Link: AI - Artificial Intelligence: Index of Stills