A.I. and Sci-Fi in an Era of Boring Action Movies

March 6, 2015 2:34 PM

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A.I. and Sci-Fi in an Era of Boring Action Movies

Neill Blomkamp has spent the press tour for his new film Chappie promoting his next film, an installment of the Alien franchise. It’s not even underway yet, but its existence is a terrible sign. There’s never been a time at which the public was more excited about fantastical storytelling—and, simultaneously, never been a time at which the set of ideas animating the sci-fi genre has been so moribund.

Chappie, for instance, takes an interesting and provocative subject, the potential role of artificial intelligence in society, and saps it of any charge it might have. The titular Chappie, designed to be a peace-keeping police robot but uploaded with A.I. created by a genius whose intelligence we ca...

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