So, finding ourselves with a rare childless evening, Erin and I rented Ex Machina yesterday. This is a story about an uber-genius software billionaire having invented AI (played by Alicia Vikander) bringing aboard this brilliant computer coder to perform a Turing test to ensure that said AI had actually achieved consciousness.
I do feel richer for having seen it. The script feels intelligent, and the director (Alex Garland, who also wrote the script) was clearly inspired by Stanley Kubrik. And as much as watching a human and a machine face off and ask each other Turing test questions might sound like a waste of two hours, it's not. It's a quiet movie, but one that carries a lot of creep to it. The special effects are of the type that you hardly know they're there, and that's what makes it so brilliant.
I'm not sure about the ending, however. I can't decide whether I'm disappointed by the decisions the characters made (which were, fictionally speaking, entirely consistent), or whether we're left with more questions than answers and if the central question of the movie (can a machine achieve consciousness) was left unresolved, or whether leaving that central question of the movie unresolved was a brilliant piece of writing.
I'm still thinking about the movie, twenty-four hours later, though, so that has to count for something.
We're mostly recovered from being on California time, although that took a while. The kids went to art camp this week, and getting up at 7:30 to get them up before 8 was a chore and a half, but we did it, and the kids enjoyed art camp, even Vivian who was sceptical, at first.
I'm getting back into some writing work, including more articles for my real estate client, and columns for the Kitchener Post. Here's a selection: