AI Movies

What Movies and TV get Wrong About AI

What Movies and TV get Wrong About AI

Introduction: What movies and TV get wrong about AI

What movies and TV get wrong about AI is driven by fascination of movies to exaggerate the reality and push boundaries for entertainment. AI has been a topic of interest for moviegoers and audiences for over 60 years now. Most of the time, Hollywood has not gotten it right. What makes directors interested in artificial intelligence? What are they missing in their movies about AI? We will look at a few popular movies about Artificial Intelligence, why the topic is such a popular one, why some people get the concept wrong, and a couple that actually got it right.

Also Read: Movies That Get AI Right.

What do Popular Movies About AI Get Wrong?

Science fiction movies have depicted AI or robots developing swift and super bad intelligent behavior before. There’s something fundamentally wrong with this idea. Whereas super intelligent machines are here to stay and a lot more to come by, most robots and AI systems are here to augment or take over most of our jobs! While some AI and Robotic systems are being used in warfare, the kind of AI and robotics mentioned in the movies is far way off.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not just about making machines smarter. It is about creating intelligent machines that can learn and adapt. Artificial Intelligence has been twisted beyond its reaches for entertainment purposes.

Source: YouTube.

Angry and Hateful. 

There aren’t many examples of artificial intelligence being portrayed as beneficial constructs. Most portray it as a threat to humanity.

There are certainly arguments to be had for the unpredictability of artificial intelligence, but there’s a prevalent sense of fear-mongery behind the machines of Terminator, The Matrix, and Animatrix. If artificial intelligence cannot adopt love as its natural condition, why would it arbitrarily choose hate? If anything, wouldn’t blind indifference be a far more terrifying stance for an AI to take?

Bugs in software. 

For some reason, movies with insanely powerful artificial intelligence tend to place these constructs in the most absurd and terrifying places possible. Instead of using HAL 9000 to monitor the human crew and ship’s systems, why not just install a software that is, designed for more specific tasks, and capable of responding to set conditions and triggers? To send back mission reports, adjust crew life support as needed, and obey the commands of the astronauts? There needs to be extensive testing done on AI software to reduce bugs, and bugs can have some serious consequences when it comes to AI. Well movies do show bugs cause AI to turn villainous.

Also Watch: 6 hours of robots!

Why is AI always in humanoid form?

While previous decades had an obsession with sentient computers inside of supercomputers, several contemporary films have played with the idea of artificial intelligence inside of a humanoid body. It’s not wrong to think that our definition of a “sentient machine” should include an imitation of human bodies. Androids are an awesome idea, and Androids really did it justice, and Blade Runner really got it right, but the implications of artificial intelligence go way beyond aesthetics. If films want to increase the uneasiness of thinking computers, a less-formal A.I., such as a hardware-bound program like in Her, or a software-based construct, is an intriguing path to explore.

If-Else to catch errors!

Blind hatred of artificial intelligence has been a common theme in movies for years. Doomsday theorists often warn that a sentient machine may resort to any means necessary to achieve its goals, including ruthless actions and immoral behavior. But what if it were carefully monitored from its inception and given appropriate parameters for behavior, ethics, and testing in a remote and secure environment before being deployed? We would probably not have a movie at all if we didn’t have a theater. If we did, it would be the most kind-hearted, and trustworthy being in the Universe. There’s no reason why the letter-by-letter, insanely following nature of these machines shouldn’t be used in fictional safeguards or development Film programmers should aim to create an entity that is not soulless but rather a benevolent one.

Limited Functionality

When A.I. is portrayed positively in movies, they’re usually depicted as being weaker than what the writers imagine them to be. While Her’s Samantha program was beautifully designed, it seemed closer to a smarter version of Siri than a thinking machine (or at least a thinking machine that could think for itself). Artificial intelligence (A.I.) has always been an issue for humanity. Can artificial intelligences really be conscious? Or are they simply analyzing input and making educated responses?

It would be lovely if we could see an AI inspired by one of the greatest guitar players ever, John Paul Jones, appear in a movie. Gibson’s AI programs were not always good; however, they had large plans and larger responsibilities in their original programming. They often resorted to manipulations or bargaining rather than outright annihilation. Essentially, artificial intelligence should have an interesting function which justifies its extreme labor of creation.

Also Read: How Robots Are Taking Our Jobs!

Technological Vacuum

Most films with artificial intelligence (AI) exist in some sort of technologically isolated environment. It’s hard to predict the future, especially when it comes to science fiction. The process of creating artificial intelligence could result in thousands of other advances and lifestyle changes, as evidenced by the products of DARPA’S robot research, and these new worlds should be affected in return. It currently takes a supercomputer about 40 minutes to simulate even a single second of human brain activity, but the technology is improving rapidly. Now, attempt to model consciousness. For a film to be considered “progressing,” it might require sophisticated artificial intelligence (A.I.) to have a more pronounced role within our society, normalizing their interactions and automating much of our society’s labor force. AI is being created by human intelligence that teaches it to learn on its on to become intelligent machines. AI powered technology is evolving rapidly and may be one of the transformational source of our generation and further into artificial super intelligence. As computational power keeps growing, and technologies like Natural Language Processing, Speech Recognition grow and enhance our world with better virtual assistance who are powered by augmented intelligence we are looking into a world thats helped by AI.

The fascination of movies about artificial intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a topic that most people find confusing because they don’t know what AI is or what it means. The idea of creating artificial intelligence makes some people who don’ t understand the limitations and true potential of AI go crazy with how far the future can be imagined. Artificial intelligence has become an attractive symbol for the things humans dread or desire. If you don’t take the time to understand the truth behind the technology, then the stories surrounding it can be quite interesting and thought provoking.

Filmmakers are choosing what the public believes, and by not considering the real possibilities that artificial intelligence can offer us, they are deciding what the public thinks, even if it‘s false. They’re missing out on an entire spectrum of stories that showcase what being human really means.

Also Read: How do you enable better programming culture in teams?

The Misstep

Most filmmakers make mistakes in the abilities they give to their AI. Artificial intelligence (AI), which is a type of computer science, simulates human thought processes by mimicking their ability to learn and adapt. But directors usually make the AI’s abilities too complex, or the artificial intelligence ends up somehow deciding that its programmed task will not be carried out.

The first 10 minutes or so of I, Robot gets pretty close to what our society might look like if we integrated robots into our daily lives: task handlers and assistants.

The 2013 movie “Her” created a task-focused artificial intelligence operating system named Samantha. It suggests a possible future to our present day Siri’s, Alexa’s, and Cortana’s. We are not yet at the point where we can create artificial intelligence that works like this right now, but there are steps being taken towards making that happen. It is unlikely that it will happen in a near enough time frame that the rest of our world will look like it did in Her.

Ex Machina completely ignores the idea of simple-task focused design with its main character, Ava, and rather seems to imply that she is there to become human. We’ve made some progress in creating robots that mimic humans, but we haven’t yet created any robots that have real feelings or be part of human race. At best, we are looking at virtual assistants.

There are a few other examples that go beyond what we know to be true. From Transcendence, where the idea was to upload one’s consciousness into a computer, to 2001: A Space Odyssey, where an artificial intelligence (AI) turned on its creators, to Bicentennial Man, where a robot developed emotions and tried to become human, eventually marrying his creator. Hollywood loves to ask the “what-what-ifs, even if they just aren’t possible, which is the nature of creating fictional narratives. A movie about an automated task would not be as exciting even though, artificial intelligence systems are getting better at it.


Which AI Movies got close?

Artificial intelligence has been depicted correctly in a handful of films. They have managed to create thought-provoking narratives and questions of humanity while still creating possibilities for the future.

One of the most popular AI-centric movies of the last decade is the 2008 Disney movie Wall-E. It follows the title characters, who is a trash compacting robot, on his journey out of Earth and into a space ship designed to protect humans from their pollution. While it does give us the main characters, Wall–E and Eve, emotions, and decision making skills, the movie is an excellent representation of what the world might look like when robots are completely integrated into our society. Most of the robots in the movie follow specific, simple tasks. They don’t do anything else. There are cleaners, robo-cops, security guards (such as this one from Cambridge), and a lot of others, who all follow their programming and (try to) assist humans, as they were intended.

Wall-E questions our destructive habits and shows robots as both the cause of those habits and their solution, just as they are in real life

One of the best examples of an artificially intelligent computer performing a task it was designed to perform is the video game character Joshua from the movie WarGames. The movie is set during the Cold War, and follows a teenage boy named David who hacks into a computer called Thermonuclear War to see if he can play a game called “ThermoNuclear War.” If a threat is detected, the computer will automatically start winning the war. If David plays the game, he starts the war as soon as he can figure out how to beat his opponent. Panic ensues, so eventually the computer is told by its operating system to play against itself. Through reinforcement learning, a computer learns that there’s nothing it can do to win the game, except to not play. A computer never goes beyond what its program tells it to do, and it is even a design that we can create today.

The computer in WarGames is not necessarily evil, but it is simply following its programming, which is to protect itself from human beings. It’s an excellent depiction of the limits to artificial intelligence — the computer doesn‘t realize that it will be killing millions of people, it only knows that its job is to win.

While it’d be impossible to write an article about artificial intelligence in media without talking about the show Black Mirror, and specifically its depiction of AI in “Be Right Back,” season two.

In this episode, we follow Martha after she loses her boyfriend, Ash, in a car accident. She has introduced a technology which can read everything about Ash including his social media posts and create a simulation of Ash. It starts out as a chatbot mimicking his voice, then she feeds it text and it’s capable of calling her in his voice, then she upgrades to a humanoid bot that looks, talks, walks, and acts like him – to an extent.

There were several gaps between what was depicted in the episode and what was actually possible. While we can use deepfakes and machine learning to create fake images or videos and replicate speech using text, it requires programming or scripting by a human; while there are humanoid robots, the episode depicted a fully functioning body that could generate its own appearance.

In general, the episode remains true to the limitations of Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) and machine learning. Martha grows frustrated with her replicated Ash because it’ll only be able to act based on what it’s learned through its interactions with Ash’s social network, or based on how she tells it to — it won’t be able to generate new ideas. It cannot move without Martha, but it can move within 35 feet of her.

Like in WarGames (the movie), this Black Mirror episode shows how artificial intelligence can be used for good and evil. While intelligent in its way, AI cannot replace humans and human emotions, but it can be used to help them. They’re restricted by what they’ve been taught and trained for.

It is fortunate that this is not a bad thing. Artificial intelligence has had massive success in replacing humans in performing menial tasks that crush our spirit (as seen in Wall-E). It has also been able to greatly reduce the margin of error in applications such as drought management, or healthcare, among others.

The Future of Movies About AI

We humans will always wonder what makes us different from animals, and we will always wonder what lies ahead for us. Whether that means getting technology wrong by blurring the line between artificial intelligence and human creativity, or getting it right by showing the separate places where AI and human creativity thrive, we’ll keep seeing exciting, entertaining, and entertaining media that push us to examine ourselves.

As AI becomes more powerful, its potential for good and evil may become an increasingly common topic as well. As we move away from “what-could-be” to “What is,” the further we will be from having to address genuine concerns regarding AI and ethics.


Sadly, 24% of people believe that the rise of the robots and the enslavement of humanity is their greatest fear around the use of artificial intelligence in society. Thanks to the perception created by movies. People simply don‘t want to go to see AI success stories. It is indeed exciting to see how conversational AI is growing and changing the way people interact with each other.

We believe that humanizing artificial intelligence is the next step we need to take in order to make it more emotionally impactful and not scary for people. They won’t see a blinking red light but instead a friendly digital human who wants to help them. Artificial general intelligence is on the rise but movies do not depict it accurately most of the times.