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Film “Ex Machina”: An Artificial Intelligence

As described in the movie Ex Machina, the Turing test examines an artificially intelligent computer by use of human interaction. It is based on the human being’s capability to discover that they are interacting with a computer. If the human being does not discern this, then the test is passed. The machine is certified to be artificially intelligent. On the other hand, if the human being notices they are communicating with a computer, the test fails.

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The computer is, therefore, considered not to be artificially intelligent. David Kyle Johnson uses jeopardy to describe a type of Turing test by a computer named Watson. Watson was only expected to have human-like responses, including the errors human beings make. Watson was only meant to copy and not have one on one conversations with an interrogator who will decide whether or not it was human.

“The imitation game,” as referred to by Allan Turing, was the traditional Turing setup. Here, a man and woman were put on one side of the wall and an interrogator on the other side in the next room. The interrogator asks questions, and the man answers them, pretending to be a woman. This man is then replaced by a computer that carries on the pretense, in this case, imitation. If the interrogator fails to notice the switch or the facade, then the test is passed. The method used in Ex Machina bends this setup. The interrogator can see the artificially intelligent machine from across a glass wall as the test is carried on.

The fact that the two parties can see each other already tells the person they are communicating with a machine. The human asks questions as a result of fascination and expects particular answers. In this case, the test does not determine whether the computer can imitate human behavior; instead, it checks if it has a conscience. The integrity of the test is, therefore, lost because the results are expected to defer. The traditional test only requires the machine to act human-like, while the altered one in the film requires the device to have a mind and an understanding of its own. The film approach is not different from the jeopardy test.

Watson, the artificially intelligent machine, shows standard human behavior and errors when asked the same types of questions as its human competitors. The test should be carried out traditionally, allowing the interrogator to understand how human Ava can be. The film setup tends to depict that the machine has a mind and conscience that is human-like. It is, however, not right to say that a machine could possess a moral sense. The machine answers questions as programmed and having memory does not mean it has its reasoning. The film method is subject to the idea that the device may have a human understanding yet, it is impossible to tell if something else has a mind other than the self.

In this thought experiment, Mary, a scientist whose specialist subject is color, lives in a black and white room. She was born and raised there, only observing the world on a black and white monitor. She knows all there is to know about colors and their properties, from the wavelengths to the neurological effects. One day, the door is opened; Mary walks out of the room and sees a blue sky. There she learns what it feels like to see color, something her studies could never tell her.

This thought experiment was designed to compare the human mind to a computer. In the black and white room, Mary represents the computer; she displays the human mind when she walks out. In the film, the thought experiment was meant to test whether the machine, Ava, could relate to Mary’s circumstance and feel the outcome. Its ability to connect to the story would show whether it had a human conscience. The experiment, however, suggests that only human beings can have feelings. Computers do not possess that capacity.

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The thought experiment by William Molyneux is similar to Mary in the black and white room. There was a man who was born blind. The man was taught how to differentiate cubes and spheres of the same metal by the sense of touch. The same was done for the size; by feeling, he could tell one from another. Assuming this man miraculously receives his sight, the question is whether or not the man will discern the shapes just by sight. These two thought experiments both describe the sense of feeling. It is one thing to have theoretical knowledge of something and another to feel it. Experiences are the proofs, and they stand for themselves.

According to Nathan, the real test is needed to know whether or not Ava has a conscience. Since Ava seems to have a conscience, Nathan proceeds to understand if it was actually real or merely an act of display. The “real test” is not a good test for an android such as Ava. It already possesses Artificial Intelligence and has been programmed to be human-like. Therefore, it is capable of manipulating the human mind into thinking that it contains a human conscience. The mere fact of human imitation disqualifies Ava from that test.

In many cases, in films and predictions, artificially intelligent machines have revolted against their creators for inhuman treatment. If they are created human-like, they are programmed to behave and expect to be treated as fellow beings. Otherwise, they go against their creators, just as Ava. By knowing human beings and their behaviors, Ava was able to deceive Caleb into thinking they had a conscience.

Human nature, according to Plato, refers to anything exclusively human that man intrinsically possesses right at his birth. The question of human nature has been described differently by philosophers over the years. However, what is essential is that human nature is what separates people from other animals and objects. The simple nature of feeling, putting others ahead of them and making decisions based on the situations’ rightfulness or outcome largely explains how human nature is considerate.

Ava seems to possess this nature in the film until it murders Nathan in cold blood, destroys a fellow machine and leaves behind Caleb, someone with whom it had developed a relationship. It goes against human nature to be able to carry out such activities. Ava is therefore proved to be artificially intelligent but without a human conscience. However, Gregory Kaebnick, an American researcher, argues that morality is derived from human nature. He encourages Biotechnologists to explore human nature and change it if possible since moral concerns are raised.

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