Alex Garland shows Alicia Vikander the face of another AI. All images courtesy A24 Films
In Ex Machina, the directorial debut from Sunshine and 28 Days Later screenwriter Alex Garland, Lanky, blonde programmer Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) is in for the biggest test of his life, and possibly in the history of humanity: the Turing Test to end all Turing Tests. His job is to determine whether the sleek, feminine Ava (Alicia Vikander), an android designed by Jobsian media mogul—and Caleb's boss—Nathan (Oscar Isaac), is a sentient being or simply a machine that seems sentient. Ava's response will be the first move in a sprawling mental chess game of emotion, deception, and willpower, the winner of which could change what it means to be human.
Last night at the 88th Academy Awards, Ex Machina took home the coveted Oscar for Best Visual Effects. In our documentary below, Ex Machina | Examining Our Fear of Artificial Intelligence, you can learn how Garland and company put Gleeson, Vikander, and Isaac to the test that is bringing AI to life on screen.Take a look inside the process of turning a masterfully crafted screenplay into a Hollywood-caliber film built on cinematography, and now, award-winning special effects. "The film is definitely not supposed to be a cautionary tale about AIs," Garland says in our documentary. "The caution is all aimed at the humans."Read more about Ex Machina in our interviews with Garland, Isaac, and Vikander.Related:Don't Compare 'Ex Machina' to '2001: A Space Odyssey'Building BlueBook: The Design Behind "Ex Machina's" Super Search EngineHow Sci-Fi Invented the Superman Memory Crystal