Origin of the Species

Experimental filmmaker Abigail Child is drawn in by the allure of AI and robots. It is a complex issue that of artificial intelligence. Not one for the faint of heart.

Child is a well known documentary filmmaker with over 40 years in the industry. She knows very well how to lay out a story in a way which will draw you in. Even if it is a subject which you would not normally be interested in.

Plenty of people are leery of when it comes to artificial intelligence. They are scared of robots. Scared of ones that can learn and think. Many believe they will take over from humans. Take over all our jobs. Maybe even revolt against us. They have seen too many Hollywood films.

Child does not come at the subject from a place of fear. Rather she is curious, bordering on giddy. She sees and wants us to see the potential here. It is looked at from the point of humanity, gender, sexuality along with robotics.

All the latest developments involving androids are delved into here. Talked about then often demonstrated. How far we have come over the span of my lifetime is mindblowing. Visits are made to the most cutting edge laboratories in both Japan and the United States. Demonstrating the capabilities of the technology at this point.

Not only how machines and humans can coexist, but also the ethics of the technology. At one point they talk about how robots will be the ones going to war. But we have to be careful. That the technology can be used by some for nefarious reasons.

Robots/androids are beginning to look and sound more and more like actual humans. An example is BINA48, an android modeled after an actual human. A black lesbian. BINA48 has been called a sentient robot. It has been used to test out the belief that a person’s consciousness can be downloaded into a nanotech body. Freaky! Brings up the question then would anyone really die?

The film is the final in a trilogy made by Child that addresses the life of women. How in the future metal and flesh will come together. A female perspective in a world dominated by men. Yet the female form (sex dolls and now androids) is continuously sought and designed. Questions why voices of things like Siri and Alexa are female? Advanced type sex dolls are being produced. How will they affect human intimacy?

A world where humans and robots live together is set before us. AI is becoming more and more advanced. It is already having an impact on our lives. This will only grow. What sci-fi films of years ago only dreamed of is actually happening today. It is something which humans have been attempting since the time of Dr. Frankenstein – of creating a living form. Bringing something inanimate to “life”. All this really leans into where we are as beings also where we are heading.