Whedon and Blomkamp on the 'Frankenstein myth' of artificial intelligence in Avengers 2, Chappie

As we head into 2015 and look toward all the sci-fi blockbusters on the way, there’s one prevailing theme that’s starting to stick out — artificial intelligence.

Entertainment Weekly caught up with a few of the hottest filmmakers in the genre to talk about science and how it informs their films, and Joss Whedon (Avengers: Age of Ultron) and Neil Blomkamp (Chappie) had some excellent insights on the topic. But that doesn’t mean they’re putting the same twist on the trope.

For Whedon, artificial intelligence is a way to explore humanity and what happens when we reach too high and try to play god. Turns out we’re smarter than we thought in Avengers: Age of Ultron — but the AI Tony Stark creates is a whole lot smarter than that:

“It’s our new Frankenstein myth. We create something in our own image and the thing turns on us. It has that pain of ‘Well, why was I made? I want to kill Daddy.’ I don’t remember seeing an artificial-intelligence movie where the robot is bonkers—the most emotionally unstable person in the film—and who has the knowledge of 3,000 years of recorded history and who's a pouty teen, all at the same time.” 

Blomkamp is a different story. His interest in artificial intelligence falls on the other side of the coin. Instead of exploring how our creations will eventually revolt and try to kill us, Blomkamp’s upcoming Chappie focuses on the namesake robot — as we see his life and challenges through the lens of the ultimate outsider:

“It’s an exploration into innocence—about this [created] being that wants the affection of his parents, but he’s split between two sets of parents. He’s a robot that’s more human than the human beings are.”

If you’re interested in the intersection of where science meets movies, the full piece is a must-read. Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, 2015, and Chappie is set to bow March 6, 2015.

Do you think 2015 will be the year of the AI?

(Via Entertainment Weekly)

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