Artificial Intelligence is not a new concept. In fact the idea has been around for at least a hundred years if not more in the forms of scientific writings and fictional stories. One of the earliest fictional writings for A.I. was in the form of Isaac Asimov's I,Robot and the Three Laws of Robotics. This book set a precedent for a lot of science fiction literature and motion pictures about robots and artificial intelligence. Just as a reminder here are the three laws of robotics according to Isaac Asimov:
1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws.
The book I,Robot set a precedent that Artificial Intelligence can be a bad thing and can turn the world into a police state or even worse kill all humans leaving just Robots to take their place. On the other hand, we also know that Artificial Intelligence can be a good thing and that we can cooperate with them.
One of the most iconic movies regarding Artificial Intelligence was 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick. The movie itself is a trip about humanity through the ages from its early days before civilization all the way up to the future where humanity has created space colonies and even A.I. In the movie we meet the A.I. in the form of Hal 9000. Hal does the commands necessary for the human characters in the film, but then goes rouge and starts to go haywire and disobeys commands. It is here we truly see how the menace of A.I. can stop us or even destroy us if necessary. Hal 9000 as a character also sets a precedent. The precedent being, that A.I. is evil and should not be created, but one must also remember that this movie was created in 1969 when computers very large, cumbersome, could barely work, and most important a foreign and scary concept.
Terminator was introduced to us in 1984 by James Cameron. In it we were introduced to the A.I. Skynet, its robotic army, and its time travelling robot assassin The T-800 played by Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the movie series Skynet orders assassins to go back in time and kill the leader of a human resistance that takes place in the future. The plot of the movie series itself involves characters that try to prevent Skynet from being created in the first place. Once again we see that A.I. is considered evil.
The Matrix came out in 1999 and like 2001, and Terminator, it was a game changer of a movie that too also involved an A.I. This time though A.I. has taken over the world and is currently warring with the last remaining amounts of humans on the planet. The A.I. in the movie is so powerful that it is able create human beings in an assembly line like fashion and simply use the humans like batteries to keep the machines going. All along the humans believe they are living out their own lives while in reality they are actually acting out a computer simulation. This form of A.I. is considered one of the most powerful and evil of A.I.
Of course with the book I,Robot, we get two forms of Robots or A.I. a bad one and a good one. The good robot A.I. that we see within the book is Robbie, a robot who saves his owner and friend from being killed in a car accident.
In the same year as The Matrix, we also got Bicentennial Man, a story of a robot who serves a wealthy family. He eventually, through questions is allowed to become his own person and forge his own life. In this film it is humans that are considered the antagonists and Andrew the Robot, played by Robin Williams, as the Protagonist. The story follows Andrew's life and how he meets humans both good and bad and his search for answers to his many questions.
In 2001 we had the movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence directed by Steven Spielberg. The movie was originally going to be done by Stanley Kubrick, a purposeful call back to 2001: A Space Odyssey, but Kubrick died in 1999 and was not able to do the film. In A.I. we have another example of Artificial Intelligence as the protagonist and more importantly, an A.I. that is not evil or has no ill intention. In A.I. Artificial Intelligence we have David (Haley Joel Osment) an A.I. in the form of a young boy who loses his purpose and tries to find his purpose including the man who created him. He is assisted by other robots like Jude Law's Character Gigolo Joe. In this world of A.I. Artificial Intelligence, all robots have to be documented. Humans in this world are considered the antagonists.
In 1982 Ridley Scott directed Blade Runner, a modified film adaptation of Phillip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. This film follows Rick Deckard as a Blade Runner whose Job is to retire Replicants. In this film, we see an idea similar to Terminator where we have robots that look like humans to blend in, but that ends the only similarity. In Blade Runner, the Replicants go to earth to simply extend their life span. We also know that these Androids are far smarter and superior to any normal robot, but still follows the Three Laws. Deckard's job is to stop these Androids from continuing what they are doing. During his final encounter with the main antagonist of the film Deckard and the Android have a philosophical conversation while they are fighting one another. The conversation they have on the roof in the rain has to do with freedom, the right to live, etc. This conversation is heard similarly in the movie Ex Machina with the A.I. Ava and the human programmer Caleb. Questions of humanity, freedom, etc.
Will we ever see a movie where we can see both Humans and A.I. coexist together in society?
Ghost in the Shell is a manga created back in 1989 by Masamune Shirow. The direct translation for the manga was called Mobile Armed Riot Police, but the manga goes in depth about A.I. and Androids. The main character is actually an Android police officer and in this world Humans and Androids do coexist, but there are still instances where questions of Robotics and Freedom, Destiny, Control and other metaphysical and philosophical questions occur. The movie will supposed come out some time in 2017 and will supposedly star Scarlett Johansson as the lead Motoko Kusanagi.
Ghost in the Shell will result in the culmination of A.I. films where A.I. finally joins and coexists with Humans in society.