Stories of our Lives

January 2017

Ex Machina

ex_machina_movie

Caleb Smith, a programmer at an internet-search giant, wins a competition to spend a week at the private mountain estate of the company's brilliant and reclusive CEO, Nathan Bateman. Upon his arrival, Caleb learns that Nathan has chosen him to be the human component in a Turing Test-charging him with evaluating the capabilities, and ultimately the consciousness, of Nathan's latest experiment in artificial intelligence. That experiment is Ava



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Questions for Discussion

  1. What effect did the movie have given the action takes place almost entirely inside without windows at one location?

  2. What was the director’s purpose in adding all the sensuality into the relationships between humans and androids?

  3. Why does our imagination for futuristic robots tend to portray them as ultimately destructive and/or antihuman?

  4. Given that we create in our own image, what safeguards should society place on developing A.I.?

  5. Was there a particular scene or dialogue in the movie that struck you? Why?

  6. What’s the deal with the title?

  7. Did this movie remind you of a particular biblical story or religious text?

  8. If A.I. reaches its potential, will we have to redefine what human is? What are the implications?

  9. Did Ava pass the Turing test?

  10. Which character did you find yourself most attached to?

  11. Is acting for the benefit of another an intelligent attitude?

  12. Regarding the question of whether machines can gain human consciousness, what if we pose that question to ourselves. Just because we can be conscious, doesn’t mean we automatically are. What does consciousness mean?

  13. What would Jesus say to Ava? Caleb? Nathan?

  14. What role do you think gender plays in forming consciousness? Does our consciousness impact our gender identity?