Science fiction films about artificial intelligence have often perpetuated anxieties about new technology as a widescale threat to humanity. However, more recently, the genre seems to be moving toward more positive and open-minded representations of technology that envision humans embarking on relationships with AI in varying capacities—perhaps a reflection of technology's increasing value and permeation within all aspects of contemporary wider culture. Thus far, such texts have been given little scholarly attention, yet they offer significant insights into our possible coexistence with advancing technologies of the future. This article analyzes three contemporary science fiction films about artificial intelligence and demonstrates how they are offering unique perspectives that lend support to wider applications of AI, specifically as social companions.
Abby Kidd is Postgraduate Researcher in the School of Art, Media, and American Studies at the University of East Anglia, where she completed her MA in Film Studies and her BA in Film and English Literature. Her current research focuses on the ways in which both fictional and real-world examples of artificial intelligence are communicated to nonspecialists across media platforms within contemporary culture, including science fiction film and television, documentaries, news media, and popular science books.