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A trend is becoming evident from trailers for films in 2015 - sentient AI with potentially malevolent ends is in BIGTIME. While 2014 had a few entries in this genre (notably Transcendence, the Johnny Depp movie no one saw nor remembers even existed), 2015 is doubling down on these kinds of movies. While we don't know the full slate of the upcoming year, here are 4 big movies that will prominently center on the role of intelligent AI and their role in the world.

 

1. The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Maybe the most-anticipated movie of the year, the new Avengers film follows the heroes of Marvel's Cinematic Universe coming together again for the first time since the mega-blockbuster The Avengers (2012). The primary antagonist of the film, Ultron, is an AI created by Tony Stark to help identify and eliminate threats around the globe, so that the Avengers can possibly retire. Of course, since most AI inevitably turn on their creators, so does Ultron, realizing that the Avengers are protecting a global status quo that leaves untold millions in squalor and war, and therefore must be eliminated so that Ultron can shape a future free of conflict.

 

How Evil Is This AI?

Actually, this AI has some pretty good points - the status quo of the planet is pretty terrifying. When you think of how many live in unimaginable poverty and hunger and chaos, while so many others live in relative luxury, it's hard to defend the current state of affairs. But when the solution is "make an army of robots to murder everyone and make kids sing songs from Pinocchio but all creepy-like," maybe the AI's plan isn't a whole lot better. So...pretty evil.

 

Does It Have Lips?

Yep. So many robo-lips.

 

2. Chappie

From the makers of District 9 (and Elysium, but...let's not talk about Elysium), Chappie follows a new AI created by Slumdog Millionaire. Early in Chappie's existence, it becomes clear that this new intelligence is basically like a newborn child (although slightly accelerated) - it is neither inherently good nor evil, but must be taught how to behave in society and learn who it wants to be. While its creators are benevolent in their goals, the outside world may yet ruin Chappie's chances for happiness: Hugh Jackedman is an anti-AI operative who believes Chappie represents a threat (although, knowing movies, odds are he'll be shown the errors of his biased beliefs by the end), and a larger society that will corrupt Chappie's innocence with violence and greed.

 

How Evil Is This AI?

Not evil at all - that's the point! It seems this will be about Chappie discovering what he is - good, evil, or something in-between. But the answer is gonna be good. Did you see how he was protecting the little girl from a hail of bullets by hugging her? This is gonna be an uplifting tale of an AI who many didn't believe in surprising everyone with its deep humanity. Chappie's gonna be up there will WALL-E soon for "adorably sweet robots who came through in the end."

 

Does It Have Lips?

Not really. It has a lower-bar that moves when it speaks, but its speech is mostly indicated by a light. It definitely couldn't kiss anyone.