Artificial Intelligence & AI – A Movie History

A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, Haley Joel Osment with uncredited robots, 2001.
Warner Brothers/Courtesy Everett Collection

Like it or not the AI age is here. With Marvel Studios launching a fully A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) created opening credit sequence in Secret Invasion and Apple’s announcement of it’s Vision Pro that is bringing a Minority Report style workspace to our homes it got us to thinking about the A.I. we have loved and hated in the movies over the years. And what better day to post about it than today as the Steven Spielberg classic A.I. Artificial Intelligence opened in theaters 22 years ago today, June 29, 2001.

2001 – A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Spielberg told a story featuring Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law about a highly advanced robot boy who longs to be human. The film was met with a positive response from most critics while audiences were lukewarm. A middling box office was felt and the film did better on the international markets. The poster read – David is 11 years old. He weighs 60 pounds. He is 4 feet, 6 inches tall. He has brown hair. His love is real. But he is not.

1984 – The Terminator

Arnold Schwarzenegger was the ideal Terminator – Cyberdyne Systems Model 101 to some of us. Sent back in time to kill, or later save he was all artificial other than his human appearance. He learned, he processed and he terminated and when he said “I’ll Be Back,” he meant it.

1983 – War Games

Shall we play a game? Yes, please! Where Joshua is concerned, the game playing computer that plays chess, checkers, tic-tac-toe and of course global thermonuclear war shows us that game playing isn’t just for the kids. This AI, like most, isn’t al knowing it needs to be taught to process. This was the AI that scared us in 1983, although it probably wouldn’t scare today’s viewers it’s a retro blast from the past.

1968 – 2001: A Space Odyssey

HAL 9000 controlled the mission and changed the game in movies with space movies and AI. That really is someone or is it something, you don’t want controlling your life. And that voice, oh that voice. For many the late Douglas Rain will be that voice in their sleep forever.

1987 – Robocop

Now the artificial intelligence that controls Robocop has a real human element as the film is the mix of man and machine after Peter Weller’s accident lands him in the suit. But could this virtually invincible robot actually use the human and the machine to become the ultimate mix in a fighting machine.

Artificial intelligence is everywhere in the movies today from computers to characters and everywhere in between. How soon until an entire movie, start to finish is AI and are we ready for that? I rather like the human element myself, but now the robot overlords know that and I could be in trouble. Don’t tell Hal, Joshua, David or SkyNet please.

60s Sci-Fi Favorites
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60s Sci-Fi Favorites

March 2020

Do you remember all the great Sci-Fi TV shows of the ’60s?

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