At first glance, Ex Machina has much in common with such genre colleagues as the thriller “Ex Machina” by A. Garland and the drama “Moon 2112” by D. Jones. The story is built around a lone hero, who is accompanied by an android with the intelligence of a woman. At the same time, in Gavin Rothery’s film, there is an unsettling atmosphere of a sci-fi thriller about the relationship between a person and the AI created by him, and an unpredictable ending.
Japan, 2046. In a remote area, there is a complex where scientist George Almore works. Under the guidance of his boss Simone, he implements the new Archive computer technology. For several years now, they have been using data from recently deceased people to work on artificial intelligence. Information is stored on servers and can be transferred from human consciousness to the electronic body and brain. But there is one “but”: the time limit during which you can stay on the phone with someone who is placed in a digital sarcophagus is 200 hours. After that, contact with the Archive stops and it is no longer possible to create an artificial version of a person who has passed away.
Almor is working hard on AI not only because he wants to make a scientific breakthrough. His goal is to place the personality of his wife, who tragically died several years ago, into the body of an android. One by one, George develops advanced robotic bodies. It assigns them an index on the first letter of the Jules name:
J-1 is an imperfect and bulky robot with the mind of a 5-year-old child; J-2 is a more advanced prototype that has developed to the intelligence of a 15-year-old girl; J-3 is a high-tech android model capable of copying the thoughts, character and behavior of a woman.
It remains to complete the process: test J-3 and finally transfer consciousness from a dead body to an electronic container.
Difficulties suddenly arise: the blond beauty “J-3” not only looks like George’s lover, but is also able to have feelings for him. And the young “J-2” begins to be jealous of her creator. Love twists and turns are exacerbated by the oddities happening around: an incomprehensible breakdown of equipment; failure of the security system; an attempt by a saboteur to steal the latest J-3 development. On top of this, The Archive Company sends its representative to Almora (and with it, combat robots for cleaning). The scientist is suspected of infringing patent rights when using secret technologies.
Along the way, George manages to sort out all the problems. And most importantly, the experiment with the transfer of Jule’s consciousness to android was successfully completed. And then an incoming phone call is heard: from the wife, from inside the server – the last one! How can this be, he transferred it to J-3? Picture on the screen: next to a massive server are the wife and daughter of a computer programmer. They speak to him for the last time and say goodbye. At this point, it becomes clear that all this time it was not Jule’s body that was in the Archive, but George himself. And he, being in the electronic afterlife, tried to “fetch” the consciousness of his wife from the real world with the help of high technologies.
Such an unexpected ending of the picture literally turns everything upside down. In reality, George died in the same car accident that was shown in his flashback memories. Immediately, one of the scenes of the film pops up, where he and his wife first discussed the AI program. The scientist explains that those placed in the Archive do not know that they have died. Thanks to this revelation, the film takes on a completely different meaning, and little things get a very definite meaning.
First of all, these are the actions of the robots J-2 and J-3, who tried to warn their creator about the consequences of completing the experiment to develop an artificial version of a living person:
At the end of the film, George’s most perfect creation asks him not to pick up the phone during the last call from the Archive. Robotess knows that this will be followed by the inevitable end of her creator. After all, when J-3, among other things, got access to the memories of the accident, she discovered that it was not George’s pregnant wife who died on the road that night, but he. Prior to this, the female android pretended to take Jule’s personality into her shell because she knew she was in a simulation. Something more than jealousy was behind J-2’s suicide. Perhaps the teenage robot decides to put an end to it, realizing the revealed truth and its unreality. But there is another version. At the beginning of the film, the lover “J-2” tells his creator about dreams in which they are driving together in a car. What if her fantasy comes true in the afterlife, like George’s dream?
As a result, it becomes clear that the characters in the painting Ex Machina are participants in the simulation and parts of the software complex that keeps consciousness in George’s dead body. This means that only in the imagination of the protagonist there were J-series robots, boss Simone, security guards, and even Melvin. In virtual reality, all events took place. The essence of the ending of the drama Ex Machina is that the invented world, in which the inventor George Almore actually lived for many years, disappears along with the death of his consciousness.