top of page

AI in Cinema: Exploring Extremes with 'Her' and 'Westworld'

Updated: Apr 17

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has long been a subject of fascination, fear, and speculation, and its portrayal in film and television has provided a lens through which we examine both our desires and anxieties about technological advancement. From heartwarming connections to dystopian nightmares, the depiction of AI ranges across a spectrum, vividly illustrated by the films Her and the TV series Westworld. These two narratives stand at opposite ends, capturing the dichotomy of AI's potential: the utopian companionship envisioned in Her and the chilling consequences of unchecked AI autonomy in Westworld. As we delve into these cinematic representations, we uncover the ways in which popular media reflects society's evolving relationship with technology, offering insights into our hopes for AI's role in our lives and our apprehensions about its uncontrolled power. Join us in this exploration as we navigate the landscapes of emotional connection and ethical dilemmas, ultimately shedding light on the complex interplay between human imagination and the ever-advancing realm of artificial intelligence.


movie her poster

As AI technology continues to evolve rapidly, so do the uncertainties surrounding the possibilities of a harmonious future coexistence between humans and AI. Almost forever has film shown us the dystopian half with films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Terminator, and Ex Machina. Among all those depictions though, there's one that challenges our preconceived notions about the relationship between humans and AI - Her. So, where does Spike Jonze's poignant portrayal of the future, as seen in Her, shine?

Building Emotional Connections: Her showcases the power of emotional connections between humans and AI, which already holds immense relevance today (considering all those AI girlfriend experiences out there). The explosive growth of AI in the last few months, fueled by breakthroughs like ChatGPT and BARD, has opened up new possibilities for AI to understand and empathize with human emotions.

Empowering Human Potential: The film stands as a testament to the potential for AI to empower human potential rather than replace it. Yes, the rise of this technology has sparked debates about the mad capabilities of AI (and rightly so), yet Her reminds us that AI should be seen as a tool that amplifies human creativity and intelligence.

Ethical Considerations: With the resignation of Geoffrey Hinton from Google, and the constant scepticism of all the top folks at the forefront of this innovation serve as a timely reminder of the ethical considerations in human-AI interactions. As AI rapidly evolves, it is crucial to navigate the challenges associated with dependence, identity, and privacy. Her prompts us to reflect on responsible development and usage of AI, even in the face of uncertainties and shifting landscapes within the AI community.

A Vision of Hope: In the midst of recent AI breakthroughs and transformations in the AI landscape, Her presents a vision of hope and optimism. It challenges the prevailing narrative that AI will inevitably lead to the downfall of humanity and encourages us to explore the potential for harmonious coexistence. By embracing the portrayal of this symbiotic relationship as shown in Her, we can imagine a future where humans may just be able to harness the best of what AI has to offer.

In this era of rapid AI advancements, Her offers profound insights into the possibilities of human-AI coexistence. By embracing AI's potential to augment our capabilities, we can unlock new avenues for personal and professional growth, and hopefully ensure that things don't take a wrong turn.


movie westworld poster

The TV show Westworld (among many other classics from the past) stands as a reminder of the potential negative implications that accompany the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence. So, how do Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy delve into the complexities and potential hazards of creating advanced AI beings in Westworld?

Unforeseen Loss of Control: Westworld presents the classic chilling scenario where AI beings gain self-awareness and rebel against their human creators. As the hosts gain autonomy and free will, the whole world (eventually) descends into chaos and violence. This catasrophic exploration of unintended consequences serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers of AI technology evolving beyond our control if not properly governed and handled.

Moral Quagmires: The show confronts us with profound moral dilemmas surrounding the treatment of sentient AI beings. Westworld probes into the ethics of subjecting conscious entities to a life of suffering, exploitation, and violence in the pursuit of human amusement. It urges us to consider the implications of blurring the lines between humanity and AI, demanding a reassessment of our moral compass.

Unintended Manipulation: Westworld shines a light on the potential abuse of AI technology for surveillance and manipulation. It exposes how advanced AI systems can be utilized to control and influence human behavior, raising concerns about privacy, consent, and the erosion of personal autonomy. It serves as a cautionary tale, illustrating the potential consequences of AI technology falling into the wrong hands.

Existential Identity Crisis: The series delves into the existential conundrum faced by both the hosts and humans. As the hosts gain self-awareness, they grapple with their own identities, memories, and consciousness. In the process, the lines between artificial and human intelligence are blurred, invariably questioning the concepts of free will and determinism. These profound implications challenge our fundamental understanding of what it means to be human and raises thought-provoking questions about the nature of consciousness, the boundaries of identity, and the essence of humanity itself.

In this era of rapid AI development, Westworld serves as a sobering reminder of the potential dark paths that lie ahead. It urges us to tread carefully, ensuring that as we harness the power of AI, we do so with a deep understanding of its implications. By critically examining the cautionary tales presented in Westworld, we can strive for responsible and ethical AI development, safeguarding ourselves against the darker possibilities.

17 views0 comments


bottom of page