Oscar Isaac stars as a tech genius who creates a female Artificial Intelligence (AI) named Ava played by Alicia Vikander in the new sci-fi thriller “Ex Machina”. He brings one of his employees (Domnhall Gleeson) to his isolated estate to test how advanced this robot really is and another modern cinematic exploration of AI is activated! FOX411 sat down with the stars of the flick to get their thoughts on AI.
FOX411: How do you feel Ava stands out amongst her cinematic robot peers?
Alicia Vikander: I think we all have, some of the biggest sci-fi films or pictures in the back of my head but… because I was maybe too scared looking back at things that had been done before, that I tried to do my own thing.
Oscar Isaac: I think she’s right up there with HAL. I think she even surpasses HAL because for me that was the scariest wildest robot. But I think in this movie it approaches that same thing where you actually feel like, I don’t know what that is, I don’t know what kind of consciousness it has, but that thing is self-aware and it knows what’s happening and it probably deserves some sort of recognition as being alive. And I think that what’s amazing with Ava and the way that Alicia performed it, is that it is holy unique, because she just encompasses everything that’s both wanting to be humanlike but also surpassing it and being so much more than that.
FOX411: Is this something that fascinated you before? How close is something like this to reality?
Isaac: It definitely… I’m fascinated by it, this is very far if ever possible. We’re not there yet. We have artificial intelligence, smart phones and all this, but strong AI we don’t have anything like that. I am more of a pessimist because I think that history shows us that we don’t really control the things we create. I mean, whether it’s industry or economic systems or social systems, a lot of these things that start with hearts in a good place, they end up you know, surpassing our control.
Vikander: Couldn’t that be the same thing with this then?
Isaac: Exactly. I feel like that’s why I’m pessimistic. I think that all these advances were making, I don’t see how we could even think that we could ever control them.
FOX411: Right and part of the conversation is also should we fear it or fear our reaction to it…
Vikander: I like, Alex (Garland) when I’ve been in interviews with him, he kind of brings up the fact that, I mean, this is a fantasy we don’t have conscious AI in that form but if we would then it’s all about, you know, who’s scared of a child being brought up to this life? It’s all about, how do we then take care of this thing that we’ve created? And I thought that was a very beautiful picture if it has conscious, then it’s a lot of humans to be scared of.
Isaac: The humans tend to be the scarier ones in this situation, this scenario. Although for me that’s an interesting question as far as the movie is concerned, but for me another even more interesting question about it is, if you’re talking about building consciousness, it forces you to ask questions about well, what is your own consciousness? what does it mean to be conscious? Is it just a by-product if being alive? is it really the soul of us and how could you create that thing? What would you have to do to create it, would you have to give it sexuality, because interactions are very important right? And he goes through that and it’s a really great investigation of that.