100 Years of AI – VI

Let’s explore films that perfectly encapsulate the raw power and thought-provoking nature of this world-changing technological breakthrough in 2018 / 2019

Part I explored films crafted from the 30s to the 60s. Part II explores films made during the 70s. Part III takes a look at the 80s and 90s, Part IV looks at feature films from the years 2000 to 2010, Part V explores films from the years 2011 to 2017, and Part VI looks at films from 2018 / 2019, Part VII takes a look at films from 2020 to the present.

Upgrade (2018)

An Australian cyberpunk action film that follows a technophobe who is implanted with a chip that allows him to control his body after a mugging left him paralyzed. A chip called STEM that can manage a human’s motor functions.

Written and directed by Leigh Whannel.

Zoe (2018)

In the not-too-distant future, the most cutting-edge technology has honed romantic relationships down to a science: A computerized test can determine the likelihood of successful partnership between two individuals, and androids—known as “synthetics”—have been designed as the ideal partners, ones who are completely understanding and will never leave. 

Directed by Drake Doremus / Screenplay by Richard Greenberg

Tau (2018)

A woman trapped inside a sadistic genius’ smart house must somehow get past the advanced artificial intelligence guarding her.

Directed by Federico D’Alessandro from a screenplay by Noga Landau.

2036 Origin Unknown is a 2018 

In 2030, a mission to Mars goes awry when a crewed shuttle disappears under mysterious circumstances. Six years later, United Space Planetary Corporation mission controller Mackenzie “Mack” Wilson finds herself subordinate to ARTI, an artificial intelligence system, as she lands a rover (which she nicknames “Little Red”) on Mars. While Mack is distrustful of ARTI, her sister and supervisor, Lena, insists that the AI will succeed where human controllers have failed.

Directed by Hasraf Dulull, written by Dulull and Gary Hall

Extinction (2018)

Peter, an engineer, has recurring nightmares in which he and everyone he knows suffer through violent, alien invasion-like confrontations with an unknown enemy. This causes him to have a strained relationship with his wife, Alice, a synthetic AI.

Directed by Ben Young and written by Spenser Cohen and Brad Kane.

2.0 (2018)

In this Indian fantasy film, Dr. Vaseegaran creates an android humanoid assistant named Nila. He introduces Nila to a group of college students while reminiscing about Chitti, his previous creation, which was dismantled after the robot had gone on a murderous rampage.

Directed by S. Shankar who co-wrote the film with B. Jeyamohan and Madhan Karky

A.X.L. (2018)

It tells the story of a teenage boy who encounters a robotic dog created from cutting edge military technology. A-X-L is a top-secret, robotic dog created by Andric, a Craine Systems scientist, to assist and protect soldiers. The project is funded by the military. Code-named A-X-L (“Attack, exploration, Logistics”) by the scientists who created it, the robot embodies advanced next-generation artificial intelligence. 

Written and directed by Oliver Daly.

A.I. Rising (also known as Ederlezi) (2018)

In a socialist world in 2148, the Ederlezi Corporation undertakes a space mission to the Alpha Centauri star system. The corporation selects Milutin, a trained cosmonaut, but demands that he accepts Nimani, an android designed to respond to the cosmonaut’s desires and to monitor his performance on the ship. Nimani is activated during the trip and Milutin experiments with her programmed scenarios. 

 Serbian science fiction film directed by Lazar Bodroža and based on a 1980s short story by Zoran Nešković that was adapted for film by screenwriter Dimitrije Vojnov

Replicas (2018)

 A modern-day twist on the Frankenstein myth.

Biomedical research scientists transfer the mind of a dead soldier into an android with superhuman strength, codenamed Subject 345.

Directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff (Traitor), from a screenplay by  Chad St. John (London Has Fallen).

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

This cyberpunk action film re-imagines a mythical post-apocalyptical world as a photo-real city full not only of behemoth cyborgs, furiously fast sports spectacles and dark justice but also of compelling human stories. A teenage cyborg who emerges from a junkyard discovers her identity and becomes a source of buoyant hope.

Based on Yukito Kishiro‘s manga series Gunnm. It was directed by Robert Rodriguez, and written by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis.

Serenity (2019)

A fishing boat captain is a character in a computer game and realizes that he and the other inhabitants of Plymouth Island are merely artificial intelligence characters.

Written and directed by Steven Knight.

Hi, Ai (also spelled Hi, AI ) (2019)

A German documentary film. The film deals with the coexistence of people with humanoid robots and asks questions about the future of humans in a world in which robots and artificial intelligence are present everywhere. The stories about, on the one hand, an old woman in Tokyo who receives the robot Pepper as a gift from her son, and, on the other hand, an American who goes on a road trip through California with a robot partner, form the two main strands of the film. Written and directed by Isa Willinger

Captain Marvel (2019) 

In 1995, on the Kree Empire’s capital planet of Hala, Starforce member Vers suffers from amnesia and recurring nightmares involving an older woman. Yon-Rogg, her mentor and commander, trains Vers to control her abilities, while the Supreme Intelligence, the artificial intelligence that rules the Kree, urges her to keep her emotions in check. It is the 21st film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck from a screenplay they co-wrote with Geneva Robertson-Dworet

The Wandering Earth (2019)

In the year 2075 a Chinese astronaut discovers that MOSS, the computer commanding the station, has decided to abandon Earth to destruction and repurpose the station as an interstellar ark to seed a new planet with Earth’s biosphere.

This Chinese science fiction film is directed by Frant Gwo, loosely based on the 2000 short story of the same name by Liu Cixin. Screenplay by Gong Ge’er, Yan Dongxu, Frant Gwo, Ye Junce, Yang Zhixue, Wu Yi and Ye Ruchang.

I Am Mother (2019) 

Australian cyberpunk thriller, after an extinction event, an automated bunker that is designed to repopulate humanity activates. A robot named Mother grows a human embryo and cares for her over several years. About 38 years later, we see a teenage girl named Daughter fix Mother’s hand. Mother teaches Daughter complex moral and ethical lessons, warning her about an upcoming exam. Mother forbids any contact with the world outside the bunker.

Directed by Grant Sputore, from a screenplay by Michael Lloyd Green, based on a story by both.

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

In 2020, an advanced Terminator, the Rev-9, is sent back in time to Mexico City to murder Dani Ramos, while a cybernetically enhanced soldier, Grace, is sent from 2042 to protect her.

Directed by Tim Miller and written by David S. Goyer, Justin Rhodes, and Billy Ray from a story by James CameronCharles H. EgleeJosh Friedman, Goyer, and Rhodes. 

 the sixth installment in the Terminator franchise and a direct sequel to Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), ignoring the events of Rise of the Machines (2003), Salvation (2009), and the reboot Genisys (2015). 

iHuman (2019)

A documentary about artificial intelligence, social control and power. The film shows how this technology is changing our lives, our society and our future. The documentary features its own character representing AI that develops through the film. This character has an abstract VFX form done by Theodor Groeneboom. The constant surveillance through phones, internet, systems in society and through surveillance cameras is discussed as a topic crucial for development of AI. 

Directed by Tonje Hessen Schei.

Jexi (2019)

 It follows a self-aware smartphone that becomes emotionally attached to its socially awkward owner. Taking his mobile to be replaced, Phil is berated by phone store employee Denice for being overly reliant on his phone to navigate life. Setting up his new phone, Phil gives “Jexi”, the device’s virtual assistant, access to all his accounts after neglecting to read the user agreement. Designed to “make his life better”, Jexi aggressively tries to break Phil out of his bad habits. Posing as him, she emails an insulting letter to Kai demanding a promotion.

Written and directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore