The Relationship Between Humans And The Machines In Alex Garland's Ex Machina

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Alex Garland’s 2015 directional debut Ex Machina explores ideas that are parallel to the themes theorized in Donna Haraway’s 1985 essay titled Cyborg Manifesto. Furthermore, both pieces of work explore the relationship between humans and the machines that we create, in this case, a humanoid robot believed to containing Artificial Intelligence. Since most modern human experience is constructed, there is almost nothing to separate us form the machines we create. The film also represents the borderlands in which cyborgs live in. The borderlands are the productive spaces that are intended for research and the building of knowledge. In Ex Machina, Nathan’s compound is the borderland. To be more specific, the borderland is the room that he confines his robot experiments to. As Caleb was watching the security footage of Nathan’s past experiments, he comes across a clip of one of the robots banging on the glass and asking why can’t she be released. Ava grew to hate Nathan because of the way he treated her and because she was confined to the one room in the house. During the Ava Sessions, Caleb goes down to the room and talks with Ava as part of the Turing test. Caleb and Ava talk through a translucent wall and never come into physical contact throughout the entire film. Caleb is conducting his research inside of Ava’s borderland. Ava’s permanent confinement and her realization that Nathan can and will switch her off whenever he sees fit, acts as the catalyst of her desire to escape. At one point in the film, Caleb is talking with Ava about Frank Jackson’s thought experiment titled Mary’s Room. Mary is a brilliant scientist, who specializes in color. She knows everything that there is to know about colors, except what it feels like to actually see color. Like Mary, Ava has never left her room. She is not allowed access throughout the inside of the compound or outside. Even though she has a lot of information about what the world is like, can she ever actually know about the world if she has never seen it? There is an extra piece of knowledge gained through experience and Ava is searching for this experience. A cyborg would have elements that would qualify it it as an “alive being” and will also feature elements that

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