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The right of artificial life

Ex Machina
Regissør: Alex Garland
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Author Alex Garland is directing debut with a fascinating sci-fi chamber play about artificial intelligence and real emotion.

Little can be known more. Not least, it is gratifying to see good science-fiction films made with relatively simple means, such as Duncan Jones' Moon (2009) and Gareth Edwards' Monsters (2010), as they remind us that the genre relies more on solid basic ideas than on advanced special effects. When British writer Alex Garland now debuts as a film director, so too does such a film.

Ex Machina introduces us to young programmer Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) as he is picked to spend a week with the computer group's leader, famed technology developer Nathan (Oscar Isaac from Inside Llewin Davis). Caleb is thus transported by helicopter to an isolated research center far out in the Alaskan wilderness, where it first seems as if the eccentric entrepreneur is living all alone. After Caleb has signed a comprehensive non-disclosure agreement, he learns that Nathan has developed a robot with artificial intelligence – and that his task in the following week is to perform a "Turing Test" on it. For those who have not seen Morten Tyldum's film about the man behind this test, it is about finding out if a machine can think – or rather imitate thoughts – in such an advanced way that a human will not be able to reveal. . .

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Aleksander Huser
Huser is a regular film critic in Ny Tid.

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