Thursday 2015-03-12

Chappie directed by Neill Blomkamp, cowritten with Terri Tatchell

This has gotten a lot of negative reviews, largely because the reviewers expected a bigger or more complex role for Hugh Jackman, and secondly, they seem to focus on the nature of AI, instead of humans *and* AI.

Jackman's fairly uni-dimensional role parallels that of the i-want-my-money drug-lord, and are a contrast to the depth of the core humans and bots. The ability of the bots to evoke humane responses from humans pulls us into the drama, and as they learn, the plot develops.

Via which Blomkamp addresses two big problems of AI deployment: security and learning. We want to be able to manage them while letting them develop as needed per situation. Throughout the film, we see humans as the weakest link in terms of securing the bots, and also in terms of teaching bots about life.

That said, there are scenes where humans triumph and show the strengths of humanity. Together the bots' interactions with these upsides and downsides of human intelligence turn this film into a Wall-E or Her where you're not sure what lessons are actually being learned.