“How does technology influence design change?” lecture intrigued my curiosity about the relation between technology and design. During my personal research on this subject, I came across the latest Alex Garland’s creation, “Ex Machina” science fiction psychological thriller film that revisits the popular topic about artificial intelligence and humans’ requisite.
Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) wins the “first prize” inner to the technological company he works for as a modest IT programmer. Caleb has the opportunity to literally work directly with his CEO’s new project. The events take place in Nathan’s (Oscar Isaac) isolated Estate in the Norwegian landscape. Caleb’s main duty is to be the means for Nathan’s Artificial Intelligence “Turing Test”. Nathan’s creation is an android which physical features are a visible artifice system through a transparent casing female human body provided with the Alicia Vikander’s visage.
The difference between Ex Machina and other sci-fi movies, like Her or A.I., is the dominant theme of artificial affection linked to sexual categorisation. Nathan’s explanation for having created a physically attractive Android is that – first, everything which composes nature is gendered, all humans’ thoughts and actions are, on some level, determined by a procreative urge, and no biogenetic impulse exists without a prior acknowledgement of attraction. A robot must have a sexual element to accomplish the status of “singularity” (the point at which the human and artificial become indistinguishable). And second, “Hey, it’s fun – a primary pleasure that only the obtuse or uptight would wish to ignore or deny” (Ex Machina, 2015).
As humans, we are attracted by aesthetic. Between a vivid flower and a weak one, anybody would be likely to choose the first to decor their house.
A wither tulip may be related to death while a glowing one which transmits happiness and elegance would be associated with life. The feature of appealing design thus attracts personal taste through the implicit associations of the human kind, risen from cultural prerequisites. Given that individuals are attracted to aesthetic because of their uncontrollable bias, attraction to what we conceive as ‘beauty’ may be a requisite to what it means to be human.
Ex Machina. (2015). [film] Britain: Alex Garland.