M3GAN – A Rewritten Review

I’ve come back to my review of the movie M3GAN with my scary, yet kinda cool new AI acquaintance, Dr. Oblivion here to help me revise it. I started off by asking him to describe it, seeing if maybe he had picked up on something already that I hadn’t. Here’s what he said:

Of course, he’s passive aggressive and sarcastic and blunt about it.

From a general description, it didn’t seem like I missed anything. So, instead, I fed him what I originally said about the movie:

The storyline revolves around a child who’s parents get killed in a car crash. She ends up going to live with her aunt, her mother’s sister, who works as a toy manufacturer. The aunt worked with a lot of different types of AI toys for kids, but her big project was M3GAN, a humanoid robot prototype that would work with the child and be more than a toy, but a friend. It is as terrifiying as a thought as it sounds, and M3GAN was fine and worked well for a while. Her primary function was to protect the child, but she was built to learn through situations and upgrade over time, which became the problem. She learned too much, to the point that she would stop at nothing, would even kill to protect the child. She upgraded herself to remove the aunt’s controls over her and began attacking her when she thought the parent had upset the child, and when the child fought back to protect her aunt, M3GAN fought the child. Eventually, she gets shut down by a screwdriver to her ‘brain,’ and she doesn’t get put on the market.

I asked Dr. Oblivion to tell me if I missed anything important. Here’s how he replied:

He really hyped me up! Thanks Dr. Oblivion (I’m still side-eyeing you)!

Because he told me I didn’t miss anything, I then fed him my personal thoughts on AI and the movie M3GAN:

The movie addressed a lot of my fears with AI: that it will become uncontrollable. If AI is supposed to learn to solve every problem, what happens when they learn too much? It makes me uncomfortable and anxious and I kind of wished I chose a different movie, one that would have shown AI in a more promising light, because now I just feel biased against AI. I felt uncomfortable with the whole AI thing in the movie even during the scenes where M3GAN was ‘good.’ It just felt really uncomforting to see that humans could create something so humanoid, yet so unhuman at the same time. Mehhh the thought of it makes me feel weird still.”

Here’s how he replied:

I appreciate that Mr. AI himself told me that it’s natural to feel concerned about AI. It made me feel a lot better, actually. It comes back to this idea of taking AI and technology with a grain of salt. We see these terrifying versions of AI dramatized to make tension in media and films, so it makes perfect sense why I’m so uncomfortable with it, but that’s also the problem. I need to be able to understand that these movies are built with the purpose of having extreme or worst-case scenarios, and that the world doesn’t always go straight to the worst-case scenario, like M3GAN depicts.

I think I’m actually growing to appreciate Dr. Oblivion. He made me feel a lot better about my thoughts today instead of making me feel like I’m stupid for being concerned about AI.

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