After Sam Altman tweeted that he had watched “Ex Machina”, should he also watch “Mad Scientists: A.I. Maxima?

Following OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s viewing of the movie “Ex Machina,” what should come next? Unlike most science fiction films about artificial intelligence, “Mad Scientists: A.I. Maxima” doesn’t solely focus on hackers and AI technology; it also delves into themes of peace, love, and humanity. The film’s primary focus is on envisioning how AI will be integrated into human society. Director Antonia Tong and Executive Producer Dr. Lei Xu tell a story about two different types of human beings, one from the East and the other from the West (one extremely conservative and controlling, the other open with an exaggerated sense of freedom in matters of sex and actions), both under the same new technology. You can either love it or hate it, either help humans improve or harm them.


The Turing test, which is mentioned in ‘Ex Machina,’ and has evolved into today’s technology, has far surpassed the traditional question-and-answer model. Nowadays, with just minor modifications, it’s challenging for almost anyone to distinguish whether the person on the other end of a phone call is a real human or a machine. Such technology is now accessible to ordinary people, including criminals. In the past, the machine would be concealed behind a closed door with multiple control functions. If a person on the other side believed they were interacting with another human rather than a machine, then the test was considered to have been passed.


This technological advancement raises profound questions about identity and security. With the advent of deep learning and natural language processing, machines have become increasingly adept at mimicking human communication. This has significant implications for various sectors, including customer service, online interactions, and even security protocols.


When contemplating the implications of online interactions, it’s noteworthy that chatbots and virtual assistants have become commonplace on websites, providing instant support and information to users. The challenge now lies in ensuring that these AI-driven interactions remain transparent and ethical. Users should be aware when they are communicating with a machine rather than a human, especially in contexts where trust and authenticity are paramount.


In “Mad Scientists: A.I. Maxima,” there is a memorable scene where another Maxima, designated as Maxima 5126 (played by Stephanie X. Wang), answers a phone call from Ezra (played by Elijan Van Tanzen) at the airport. She skillfully adopts a male voice in the Korean language and issues a release order to the airport security personnel. The film doesn’t delve into the backstory, but this brief scene underscores the remarkable capabilities of a robot in urgent situations. It raises intriguing questions about the extent of AI’s potential in critical contexts. It represents a new form of the Turing test that humans may need to surpass in order to achieve full functionality.


In “Mad Scientists: A.I. Maxima,” the exploration of AI’s impact on society takes center stage. It serves as a thought-provoking reflection on the ethical and existential questions that arise as AI continues to advance. The film draws attention to the power and responsibility that come with developing and integrating artificial intelligence into daily life.


As we move forward into an era where AI becomes increasingly integrated into modern society, it becomes crucial to have conversations about its ethical implications, its impact on employment and job markets, and the potential consequences of AI in various aspects of our lives. “Mad Scientists: A.I. Maxima” is just one example of how the film industry is engaging with these pressing questions and offering a glimpse into possible futures shaped by artificial intelligence.


In conclusion, the film industry plays a vital role in sparking discussions and debates about emerging technologies like AI. “Mad Scientists: A.I. Maxima” challenges us to think critically about the role of AI in contemporary society, urging everyone to consider not only its technological potential but also its ethical and societal implications. As humans continue to witness the rapid development of AI, we must actively engage in these conversations to ensure that we harness its benefits while addressing its challenges responsibly.


With some very cool production design by Sam Paynter, breathtaking VFX by editor Gabe Stowers, CGI animation by Ian Dorian and Michale Alfano, and beautiful robot costumes designed by Santiago and Alejandro Brand, this film is definitely worth seeing in 2023.


You can still catch the show at the beautiful Laemmle theater from now until Sep 21, 2023. Ticket and showtime information is available below:

Darryl Marshak, Dr. Lei Xu, director Antonia Tong, casts James Johnson, Joseph An, Dr. Ning Wang, Chang Cho, and guests in front of Laemmle Monica film center.