avatarPaul Pallaghy, PhD


I finally saw the AI apocalypse movie ‘The Creator’ (2023)

I’m a bit late to the party, but here we go. ‘The Creator’ is a big, ambitious movie that definitely maintains interest and achieves spectacular set-pieces and decent levels of poignancy.

It breaks some new ground. The Creator mostly works, giving us a peak into a fascinating dystopian geopolitical and AI scenario. Favourable Blade Runner vibes at times.

However, it exhibits a calculated underlying agenda and associated manipulation of the audience. And its twist becomes annoyingly obvious.

I still enjoyed it.

And recommend a popcorn watch of a quasi-smart film.

My full reaction is in section 3.

1. Premise (early spoilers only)

New Regency’s “The Creator” (2023) is a science fiction action film directed by Gareth Edwards, blending visually rich storytelling with the exploration of a future where AI and humans are at odds.

Set 15 years after an AI-triggered nuclear explosion devastates Los Angeles, the plot follows Sergeant Joshua Taylor, portrayed by John David Washington, who navigates a post-apocalyptic world torn by war.

Tasked with finding a hidden weapon linked to ‘The Creator’, Taylor’s journey reveals deep-seated conflicts between humans and AI, leading to a poignant exploration of loss, power, and the search for peace.

2. Reception

It has 3/5 stars on Meta critic.

Despite ambitious visuals and a globe-trotting production, the film’s narrative has been critiqued for its underdeveloped relationships and convoluted logic, yet all the same it culminates in a spectacle that questions the essence of humanity and coexistence.

3. My reaction (** spoilers **)

For those who’ve seen it

The geopolitical premise of the anti-AI US (triggered by an AI-instigated nuclear detonation in LA), vs pro-AI ‘New Asia’ is not entirely implausible and definitely a blockbuster worthy set-up.

And the well-executed picturing of life in the 2060s and 2070s with androids, bots and ‘simulants’ of human-like intelligence and even behavior is timely, especially given the sudden plethora of realistic and affordable android projects in today’s world.

The idea of AI needing a ‘mother of all’ embodiment in a single ‘Nirmata’ entity makes no AI sense whatsoever, but hey, it’s a film. I was cool with that.

And seeing dead soldiers briefly resuscitated was well done.

The truly cringe-worthy aspect of the film is that we saw the twist (New Asia being the good guys) a mile away and its arguably a-little-too-overly-woke agenda at play as usual.

Right from the start we saw this was an anti-US / anti US-military film. Despite New Asia’s scary robots, we could see that the US military was largely manned by thugs.

And then the AI’s got shown as being nicer and nicer until we literally saw them as AI monks. Lol. But, that’s OK, it’s a movie.

The conservatives probably had a field day pointing this out already.

I’m fine with that story-telling in principle, it just didn’t need to be quite so stereotyped.

However, the transhumanist message of the film is disturbing because it’s arguably a portent of the far liberal left to come: that AI ‘souls’ may be just as valuable as humans.

I can already see the left heading towards this angle because of their completely materialistic philosophy. If we’re just atoms, who’s to say we’re any more entitled than AIs?

But many of us AI guys, especially those who are also theists, but not just us, point out that human mimicry does not imply sentience.

What’s going on inside is important too.

Consciousness is still a mystery. There’s no explanation of why we humans feel the experience and thoughts of our lives. Actually see the visual field. Feel pain.

There’s no guarantee that AI will achieve that. Cognition is one thing. Sentience is something else. Consciousness may even be a hint of true ‘soul’ and the ‘beyond’, via the simulation hypothesis or even the God hypothesis.

At the end of the day, it was an enjoyable film with a few core flaws. A little too predictable.

But hey, that’s to be expected, we’re all critics.

3.5/5 stars from me.

Could have been 4.

Artificial Intelligence
Science Fiction
Recommended from ReadMedium