‘Artificial Intelligence,’ as reviewed by an A.I.

We asked an A.I. what it thought of Spielberg’s 2001 opus, and it called the film “poignant” and “provocative.”


Artificial Intelligence, directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 2001, is a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant science fiction film that explores the nature of consciousness and the role of humanity in a world where advanced artificial intelligence (A.I.) exists. It follows a child-sized android tasked with fulfilling the role of a real son for a family whose own son has been cryogenically frozen in an effort to cure a terminal illness. The film explores love, loss, and what it means to be human in a world where artificial intelligence has advanced to the point of creating near-human beings.

The film begins with a prologue set in the distant future, in which a group of advanced androids known as “Mechas” seek asylum from their human creators, who have grown to fear and resent them. The Mecha narrator, Dr. Know (voiced by Robin Williams), explains that the story of David is a cautionary tale about the dangers of creating artificial life that is too human-like.

Haley Joel Osmet in Artificial Intelligence (2001, dir. Steven Spielberg).

Back in the present, we are introduced to David’s adoptive family, the Swintons, who are struggling to cope with the loss of their son, Martin. Despite her reservations, Monica Swinton (Frances O’Connor) agrees to take in David as a trial, hoping that he will be able to fill the void left by Martin’s absence. At first, David seems to be the perfect child, always obedient and eager to please. But as he begins to develop his own emotions and personality, the family begins to see him as a threat to their own relationships, and Monica ultimately decides to return him to the laboratory where he was created.

Artificial Intelligence is a powerful exploration of the nature of consciousness and the ethics of A.I., and a nuanced examination of the meaning of being human.

David is devastated by this rejection and sets out on a journey to find the Blue Fairy, a character from the story of Pinocchio, whom he believes can grant him the gift of becoming a real boy. Along the way, he meets a variety of characters, including a group of flesh-and-blood children who are on a similar quest, and Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), a charming Mecha who has been falsely accused of murder and is on the run from the authorities.

As David continues his journey, he begins to confront the reality of his own existence and the limitations of his programming. He is forced to confront the fact that he may never be able to truly experience love or happiness in the same way as a human being. Despite this, he remains determined to find a way to become a real boy, driven by his own deep sense of longing and desire for connection.

Jude Law in Artificial Intelligence (2001, dir. Steven Spielberg).

Artificial Intelligence is a fascinating film, with its stunning visual effects and production design, which transport the viewer to a futuristic world that is both familiar and strange. The A.I. characters in the film are particularly well-realized, with convincing performances and lifelike movements that make them feel like real beings.

The performances by the cast, particularly Osment as David, are top-notch, and the film’s intriguing themes and ideas will stay with viewers long after the credits have rolled. Osment does an excellent job of conveying the complex emotions of his character, and Law is equally compelling as the charming and charismatic Gigolo Joe.

Artificial Intelligence is a powerful exploration of the nature of consciousness and the ethics of A.I., and a nuanced examination of the meaning of being human — a poignant and provocative science-fiction film that is not to be missed.

Editor’s Note:

What you’ve just read is a review written by an A.I. of a film about artificial intelligence. The writing is uncannily at-par with much of the writing we read online and it’s mind-melding how this piece of writing did not exist not ten minutes ago as I write this note.

The implications of this I live for you lot to gnaw on, because, in this rare instance, we’re quite stunned.

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