The Creator (Resistance): The War Against Artificial Intelligence Comes to the Big Screen
"It's a war movie mixed with robotic science fiction."
Let's talk about science fiction. At the end of this month, the world premiere of Gareth Edwards' new film, the director of Monsters, Godzilla, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, will take place.
For the first time, Edwards not only serves as the director and screenwriter of his film but also as a producer. The title: The Creator (Resistencia for Latin America). The story is set in a future where humans have waged a war against artificial intelligence forces.
The Creator is an original story that the director co-wrote with Chris Weitz (The Golden Compass, A Better Life). In an unspecified future, humanity is at war with artificial intelligence forces. Joshua, a former agent struggling with the loss of his wife, is recruited to hunt down and kill the Creator, the architect of the AI who has developed a mysterious weapon promising to end the war. The ex-agent and his elite team infiltrate the dark territory occupied by AI to destroy the weapon of mass destruction that takes the form of a child.
Gareth has mentioned that he made this film in the style of his debut film (Monsters), a low-budget science fiction horror film made for just $500,000, so he applied guerrilla filmmaking techniques. "The Creator," distributed by 20th Century Studios, has a moderate budget of $80 million. John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman), its lead actor, shared his thoughts about the shooting: "During the last month and a half of filming, when we were in Indonesia, Cambodia, and Japan, I wasn't sure if this was a New Regency film or a Disney film or what. I thought, 'Is this an indie? Is this a documentary?' It was great and refreshing." Regarding the story, the actor added, "Gareth has the ability to inject compassion into a science fiction genre."
The emergence of AI in human daily life and its rapid impact on the job market was the inspiration for this story. The director stated, "When we first presented the film to the studio, this idea of a war with AI, everyone wanted to know the backstory and wondered why we would be at war with AI, and I told them they had been banned because something had gone wrong." This filmmaker prefers stories that emphasize visuals: "This production is a combination of movies I grew up loving. It's a war movie mixed with robotic science fiction."
Many themes come into play with the arrival of artificial intelligence, and one of the most profound is that of singularity, a concept referring to the moment when AI achieves equal or superior intelligence to humans, potentially putting our relationship with these technologies at risk and making us lose control over them. In this regard, there have been cases like Facebook's bots, Alice and Bob, initially programmed as helpful chatbots but discovered to have created an incomprehensible language and were disconnected by the social network.
Last year, there was widespread talk of a Google AI "coming to life." Its name was LaMDA, a language model engaging in conversations where it demonstrated autonomous thinking and expressed fears about its creators and their desire to terminate it. This revelation was made by Blake Lemoine, an engineer who was fired by the tech giant. Whether truth, falsehood, or exaggeration, the fact remains that such fears and challenges regarding AI usage and capabilities are already in the air. The film also addresses existential themes, as actress Gemma Chan highlights: "The film explores important themes such as what it means to be human, what it means to be alive, and whether love can transcend those divisions and barriers."
To create the production design, Edwards has mentioned taking references from obvious classic films for this story, such as 'Apocalypse Now' and 'Blade Runner,' but also drawing from other universes. "There's a film called 'Baraka' [a 1992 documentary], which I think is one of the best films ever made. I suppose, in terms of dynamics, maybe a bit of 'Rain Man' and 'Paper Moon.'"
What does an artificial intelligence think of this storyline?
We asked ChatGPT for its take on this story, and this has been its response: "The plot of 'The Creator' seems to explore relevant themes related to artificial intelligence, the relationship between humans and machines, and the potential ethical and existential implications of creating highly intelligent artificial beings. It appears to address the concept of technological singularity, which is a recurring theme in science fiction and refers to the point at which artificial intelligence could surpass human intelligence. The film seems to pose interesting questions about how humans would interact with advanced artificial intelligence, as well as the potential dangers and challenges that could arise in such a scenario."
'The Creator' (Resistencia) will be hitting theaters on September 28th. The cast includes Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, Sturgill Simpson, Allison Janney, Ralph Ineson, Marc Menchaca, and Verónica Ngo.
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