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Ex Machina

Essay by   •  February 4, 2018  •  Book/Movie Report  •  594 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,250 Views

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Ex Machina Reaction Paper        

        In the movie, “Ex Machina,” Ava’s Turing Test wasn’t a conventional Turing Test. After the first session with Ava, Caleb tells Nathan that in a true Turing Test, the subject should not see the robot being tested or at least not be aware of what it is during the process but Nathan responded that he had already “passed that point” and the only way to see if Ava can pass is if Caleb is aware of her being an AI and still believes she has consciousness. Nathan argues that being aware that you are interacting with a machine is an even more difficult test to pass. However, I don't think that this is necessarily true. We can imagine a case where the tester just gets fascinated by the level of intelligence of the machine and doesn't conduct the test rigorously. Alan Turing was a pretty smart guy. He must have considered this obvious alternative and then discarded it for a reason. I think Caleb has a point about being aware of the robot and knowing fully well it isn't human and how this might ruin the experiment. But, if Caleb were to talk and see the robot without knowing it is a machine, the test certainly takes the elevated level Nathan had described.

        Caleb is also introduced to another robot during the movie. Her name is Kyoko. Kyoko is  initially seen as Nathan's "maid" who doesn't speak English yet does everything and anything he says. Throughout the movie, Caleb has encountered Kyoko several times, yet he never thinks of her as anything more than human. It could also be that Nathan used Ava as a diversion, and Kyoko was the “true” Turing Test. If this was the case, I think Kyoko passed this test with flying colors. Kyoko has also turned against Nathan. I think that is a clear sign of consciousness—something so human—that not even Nathan had predicted it. Although it can be argued that this Turing Test doesn’t apply to Kyoko because Caleb doesn’t really talk to her that much, but what if Nathan had already believed that his creations pass the Turing Test and had only wanted to see if his creations could fit into life seamlessly?

        Very few scenes are also dedicated to Caleb (the tester) actually asking interesting questions to Ava. I can only remember the first two meetings between Caleb and Ava where Caleb is still being skeptical and is asking investigative questions. In those scenes my mind was overflowing with follow-up questions that would make it more challenging for Ava to respond to but it seems Caleb was easily impressed. However, I'll admit that all of Ava's responses were up to the mark. There were just not enough of them.



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