Steven Spielberg's production of "Artificial Intelligence" (A.I.) is still seen as a base breaker for fans and critics alike. This sad story of a robot boy who can feel emotions -- or is programmed to feel them like a human -- is both touching and troublesome. If you're ready, why not try out the "Artificial Intelligence" Quiz, and get smarter!
What was the global disaster that forced humanity into the situation it was in?
The storyteller talks about how greenhouse gasses finally caused the ocean levels to rise, making global warming a scary reality. Low-lying areas and coastal cities went under, and this affected all but the most advanced countries. Uh-oh...
What was Dr. Allen Hobby saying should be the next big step in the development of robots?
Dr. Hobby proposed that the next step in mecha -- what they call robots in the A.I. movie -- is for them to feel emotions in the same way we do. That means that it shouldn’t just be a programmed response, but rather a "natural" reaction. Awww, the feels!
In the beginning, what was the reason for the rise of the robots?
The storyteller for the movie talks about how robots became popular because countries were forced to control their population growth. The storyteller goes on to say that it was because robots consumed fewer resources over the course of their lifetimes. What a story!
Who was the famous original director who wanted to push through with A.I.?
"A.I." was one of Stanley Kubrick's passion projects. However, he wanted some advances in technology to happen before he could film it. Sadly, he passed away before he could make the film.
What was the reason that Dr. Hobby put forward for creating loving mecha-children?
Dr. Hobby initially answered that mecha-children who can love and imprint themselves on "parents" would be perfect for childless couples who hadn’t been given a license to have children. Well, that makes sense… sort of.
Why did the Swintons have many issues when they were first introduced?
The Swinton couple's child, Martin, was already in cryogenic sleep because he was very sick. The mother, Monica, was really losing it, since they didn’t know how long it would take to find a cure -- if ever. Henry, the father, also felt helpless.
What about David made Monica very upset, aside from being a replacement for her own son?
Henry decided to get one of those mecha-children to uplift Monica's spirits. But it just looked too real for Monica, making her more upset in the beginning. Oh Henry, think things through!
How could a mecha-child start loving the designated parent?
According to what Henry says in the movie, all it would take for David to "imprint" on Monica would be for her to say a set of words in sequence. After that, David would love her. Hello, programmed emotions!
What was the big downside of making a mecha-child love a person?
Henry explains to Monica that she must be very sure when she lets David imprint on her. This is because there is no way to turn it off. Whatever circuits govern how David loves his parent figures are permanently turned on, once they are activated. They have to be shipped back to the company to be destroyed, if that happens.
How did Monica react to David for the earlier part of the first day?
Monica didn’t know how to react to a mecha-child, so she avoided David as much as she could. This ended with her stuffing him into a closet, because she felt so uncomfortable.
What was the implied incident in the Flesh Fair that made them cautious about destroying David?
The dialogue in the Flesh Fair implies that the people running it have made mistakes before. Specifically, they have accidentally killed a human being, whom they thought was a robot. Dudes!
What broke the ice with the Swintons and David?
The ice broke when David laughed at a noodle string hanging from Monica's mouth during dinner. When both Henry and Monica started smiling, it was a sign that David was already being accepted.
What was the very first obvious sign that David's ability to love a parent had been activated?
As Monica activates the mecha-child programming, David's face changes from a smile to an earnest look. However, the first real sign is when he calls Monica "mommy." Awww, always hits the soft spot!
What was one of the first signs that the imprinting might be too intense?
When David heard Monica and Henry talking about how rare the perfume was, David used it on himself to make himself "more valuable." The talk he had with Monica about death after that made it very clear that the imprinting was very intense.
What was Monica's gift to David, so he wouldn't be so lonely when she wasn't around?
Monica realized that David would always look for her if there was nothing to do, so she brought out a toy meant for her original son, Martin. It's Teddy, a teddy bear stuffed toy that is also a robot.
What event forever changed David's situation in the Swinton family?
David's life is forever changed when Monica's real son, Martin, is revived and cured of his disease. Sadly, Martin is either very spoiled, or acting out his anger at realizing that his mom already had a "replacement" for him.
What caused the first accident they had with David?
Over dinner, David's need to outdo Martin for Monica's affection led him to try and eat something. This lead to him having a breakdown, because robots aren't meant to eat human food, or anything for that matter. Burp!
It's a surprise, but who was the person who unexpectedly started to dislike David?
As the movie goes on, Henry dislikes David more and more. This may be because he is only imprinted on Monica, not David. Interesting detail!
What triggered the fiasco with Martin in the swimming pool?
While most robots simply get out of the way of something that they feel pain from, David is different. He is programmed to beg others to help him. This almost ends in tragedy, since there is a pool next to him and Martin.
Since Monica knew that returning David to the factory was equal to a robotic death, what did she decide to do?
Monica drove David and Teddy out to the forest, so he could disappear. She even gave him instructions to avoid normal humans, and what she called Flesh Fairs.
The second part of the movie is about another robot. Who was it?
Gigolo Joe was a male prostitute robot, however, that works out. His main function is to be the perfect man, in a romantic and sexual sense, for women of the time. Jude Law played the robot brilliantly in this film.
What made Gigolo Joe go on the run?
Sam, one of Gigolo Joe's clients, was killed by her husband. He set it up to make it look like Joe did it. Run, Joe, run!
What was Gigolo Joe's strategy to disappear from the police who would be investigating the client's murder?
After an earlier scene shows that the nameplate on their chest is important to mark them as registered robots, Gigolo Joe removes his with a small knife so he can escape the frame-up for a client's murder. It's implied that the nameplate probably has some sort of identification system aside from the name or serial number.
What became David's new mission in life?
David had read the story of Pinocchio, and he is now looking for the Blue Fairy to turn him into a real boy. This may seem like some sort of insanity, but remember, he is programmed to think like a little boy.
Both Gigolo Joe and David are caught by a Flesh Fair. What is a Flesh Fair?
In a society where robots are becoming more and more human, it's no surprise that Flesh Fairs happen. These are events where humans can vent their bad feelings on robots by destroying them. Whatever happened to peace, people?
How did Gigolo Joe and David meet?
When David felt fear about being destroyed, his programming kicked in and he looked for the nearest human-looking robot that could protect him. And that was Gigolo Joe.
What is Dr. Hobby's big secret about David?
In one scene in the movie Artificial Intelligence, we see Dr. Hobby's desk. There we see a photo of his son David, and it looks like he died some time ago. Now we're getting the big picture...
What was Gigolo Joe's reason for joining David on his quest?
Gigolo Joe believes he can repay David for saving his life by offering his services to the Blue Fairy. In his own way, he is following his own programming to help David.
What is Rouge City, which Gigolo Joe refers to?
It shouldn’t be surprising that Gigolo Joe would choose to go to Rouge City by default. After all, it's a city perfect for lover-robots like him. It's practically dedicated to what he does.
Who is Dr. Know?
As it turns out, Dr. Know is an interface for a large database. And you have to pay for every question you ask. Smart!
Would you know who is the voice of Dr. Know? He's very famous.
It may not be too obvious, but Dr. Know was voiced by Robin Williams. Although he wasn't as zany in this role as in others, it makes sense that Dr. Know is seen as a mad scientist.
Where is the Blue Fairy supposed to live, if Gigolo Joe got it right?
Even though Man-hattan seems to be abandoned, there are powerful people who live there, like Dr. Hobby. Curiously, it is a mecha-restricted area, meaning robots shouldn't be there. Hmm, suspicious!
Who is the familiar voice behind the Blue Fairy?
Meryl Streep is the calm, collected voice of the Blue Fairy. It's an unusual role, since she is well known for more dramatic performances.
How does David react when he meets another David robot?
David was so upset at realizing there could be more than one of him, that he destroyed the first Other David he met. Again, this shows how intense the imprinting process can be. Even Gigolo Joe is shocked!
In the far-off future, why is it that the alien forms David met can only keep the "copy" of a person alive for a day?
The aliens of the future say that they can bring back Monica, but only for a day. Such is David's devotion, that he accepts this limitation, as long as he can have Monica backas his mother, even for a short time. What a way to close a life chapter, eh!
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