M3gan (a.k.a the Megan Movie), a high-tech thriller portraying a grim warning about artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, debuted last Friday, February 13th. While I agree with the cautionary perspective the movie is built upon, and I have been a fan of similar movies such as Ex_Machina and the famous Terminator series, what I experienced was below the threshold of acceptable movie quality.
The Table of Contents Above can be used as a breakdown. Despite the overall movie being a poor experience that left my wife and me underwhelmed, there was still some saving grace. These good parts and the disappointing ones have been broken down into sections to make it convenient for you to scroll to areas that interest you over others quickly. However, if you are reading this review before deciding whether or not to watch M3gan on the big screen, I’d highly advise reading the entire review to get a complete breakdown.
With all of that being said, I’ve tried my best to word each section without needing to have many spoiler alerts. However, it stands to reason that exposure to this review may shape your experience of M3gan, having specifics pointed out that may have otherwise gone unnoticed. Now that you are primed for this breakdown, let’s take some time and review all of the goods and bads about the Megan Movie (M3gan), preventing you from making the same mistake I did: shelling out cash to see it in the theater.
M3gan: The Goods
Before diving into all of the disappointing elements of M3gan, it seems fair to cover the better parts to underline why the poor segments suck so badly. The very best feature of the Megan Movie is that it portrays Artificial Intelligence and Robotics as technologies humanity should regard with a lot of caution. Something Elon Musk has warned explicitly about has compared the adoption of AI to “summoning the devil.” We must hold onto the question asking if this predictive programming, like the Terminator series, was put in place to make us comfortable at the conceptual level, desensitizing what would be our anti collective spidey sense to the eminent cyber intelligence just over the horizon.
This notion was first proposed by theorist Alan Watts, who defined predictive programming as
“a subtle form of psychological conditioning provided by the media to acquaint the public with planned societal changes to be implemented by our leaders. If and when these changes are put through, the public will already be familiarized with them and will accept them as natural progressions, thus lessening possible public resistance and commotion.”Alan Watts
The film illustrates how cell phones, tablets, and every other smart device we know of as potential players in a doomed future dominated by technology that has been collectively building to an apex. Smart toys are the inevitable companion to smartphones, smart TVs, and smart appliances. Still, the question remains how smart is too smart? Is interconnectivity the bane of AI? In the movie, M3gan takes dangerous leaps in the established knowledge bases through open access to the internet. Would limiting connectivity for AI slow or help safeguard pitfalls of accelerated self-learning?
Good Message – Smart Tech, AI, Robotics, Cell phones, Tablets: Potentially Harmful, Require Responsibility.
This plays out in many scenes, such as commentary from the parents of “Katie,” our main character, played by Violet McGraw, who did an excellent job carrying the movie with her remarkable acting skills. Her parents limit her screen time in one scene, juxtaposed by a later scene where Katie’s Aunt does not. Similarly, her parents were against her attending school, while Katie’s Aunt found an alternative outdoor school to get her out of the house so she could devote more time to her career.
The Aunt’s decision was predicated on her lackadaisical disposition to AI and Robots, an industry where she has had apparent success as an engineer. In a much later scene, the Aunt’s “Smart Home” devices get (SPOILER ALERT) taken over by M3gan, who prevents them from recognizing the Aunt’s voice as they had throughout the movie. This is at the moment in the movie where M3gan’s artificial intelligence had self-optimized her protocols, which led directly to poorly foreshadowed segments that we will cover later.
Autonomous AI Robot, What’s the Worst that Could Happen?
At this point, M3gan has gained enough power to become autonomous, freeing herself from the binds of her programming. She has the ability to control advanced computers and smart devices wirelessly. It is never revealed exactly what pushes her technology to override her programming other than a build-up of experiences M3gan, or I should say, the AI in the robot wearing a skin suit, learned from.
If we can use movies like this as a sounding board or a simulation that went wrong, perhaps we can make plans to counter potentially fatal leaps in technological development and dependency. The premise that all devices are essentially using the same learning technology and are thus liable for future outcomes of this potential was presented exceptionally well; however, the failures described in the introduction sadly subtract from these highlights.
M3gan: The Bads
Anthropomorphic Robotic Gods
Remember that high-tech thriller about Robots and AI where humanity rises and defeats the robots and the humans behind them? Me neither, because I doubt it exists. One of the issues I have with all high-tech thrillers based around AI and Robotics is a template I see used repeatedly. Humanity is ultimately saved by either a good robot with AI or heroic humans using a Robot with AI to destroy evil robots with AI.
Typically, there is a scene where the Robot itself is heralded as a Jesus figure or akin to being God itself. This ploy has been repeated in every subsequent iteration of the Terminator franchise, invoking personality within a mechanized character, personifying what is conceptually not human.
The good Terminator reaches out his hand and says, “Come with me if you want to live.” In this epic scene, the two characters’ fingers touch before grasping hands which are said to be based on Michelangelo’s famous painting “Creation of Adam,” where the finger of God and Adam touch.
AI Robots, good for humanity or?
In M3gen (SPOILER ALERT), during a scene where the technology is being reviewed by a supervisor, Katie, our main character, sits in an observation room designed for children. The Supervisor, with engineers and others from the company, observes M3gan respond to displays of sadness with responses Katie enjoys. This cascades into more and more positive interactions between the two. The supervisor is so moved while looking directly at M3gan through the glass he says, “Jesus Christ.” This is the first instance of M3gan, or Robotic AI Android technology, being regarded as divine.
In an article about the Creation of Adam, it is said Michelangelo’s message was consistent “with thoughts he expressed in his sonnets. Supreme in sculpture and painting, he understood that his skill was in his brain and not in his hands. He believed that the “divine part” we “receive” from God is the “intellect”.” It is often postulated by transhumanists that for humanity ever to reach its ultimate potential, we’d need to merge with machines, AI robotics no less. Despite this message, “look outside yourself for the path of growth,” being a black-and-white contrast to the meaning of the Creation of Adam, it appears transhumanists incorporate elements of divinity into movies like M3gan for a reason.
Transhumanism is all too relevant today, something WEF techno-spiritual guru Yuval Noah Harari has been anything but shy about. From describing that humans will be surveilled from “under the skin” to claiming that we must re-train ourselves to exist in the Metaverse, Harari is a constant proponent of transhumanist idealism.
“The greatest scientific discovery was the discovery of ignorance. Once humans realized how little they knew about the world, they suddenly had a very good reason to seek new knowledge, which opened up the scientific road to progress.”Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
“Culture tends to argue that it forbids only that which is unnatural. But from a biological perspective, nothing is unnatural. Whatever is possible is by definition also natural. A truly unnatural behaviour, one that goes against the laws of nature, simply cannot exist, so it would need no prohibition.”Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
“As far as we can tell from a purely scientific viewpoint, human life has absolutely no meaning. Humans are the outcome of blind evolutionary processes that operate without goal or purpose. Our actions are not part of some divine cosmic plan, and if planet earth were to blow up tomorrow morning, the universe would probably keep going about its business as usual. As far as we can tell at this point, human subjectivity would not be missed. Hence any meaning that people inscribe to their lives is just a delusion.”Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Does Humanity Need Robots to Defeat Evil Robots?
Later, near the conclusion of the film, M3gan finally meets her match when Katie powers up a proxy robot in her Aunt’s garage. Katie uses the proxy robot, a technology that replicates the movements of a human wearing synced devices typically used in manufacturing, to rip M3gan in two.
This scene combined the played-out template of an optically defenseless young girl who becomes THE hero, single-handedly defeating the bad guy – with the Divine Robot Savior scenario where humanity needs a Robot to kill a Robot. A combination that ought to throw even the most enthusiastic movie buff out of suspended disbelief. While the cyber Chucky in drag (M3gan) easily tossed full-grown adults across the staging multiple times throughout the movie, (they?) were ultimately defeated by a soaking wet 80lb adolescent wielding a flat-headed screwdriver.
Does humanity need robots? Who benefits the most from the rollout of robotics and artificial intelligence? Are these questions Transhumanists want the ordinary plebeian pondering? Did Blumhouse Productions run out of budget for quality CGI in the final scene?
We recently covered the debated rollout of Robocops in San Francisco as part of the SFPD. This decision was, luckily for San Francisco and Humanity, thwarted by public pushback. However, all of this, combined with the release of M3gan, seems to correlate with an agenda to sell America, and the world by extension, on adopting these technologies broadly. Perhaps the current reflection of Bidenomics in the U.S. economy will botch the sale at the box office and save the day.
NEW – WEF’s new “Global Collaboration Village” in the Metaverse can be trusted because Interpol is on board, says Klaus Schwab.pic.twitter.com/7tGM1Ge7ZV— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) January 17, 2023