The concept of computers and artificial intelligence taking over the world has been popularized in films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, WarGames, the Matrix trilogy, The Terminator, and Ex Machina. However, those days may soon be behind us.
“It’s just not fair, and it paints technology in a bad light,” said Hugo Weaving, who played Agent Smith, a sentient program of the Matrix, in the original Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded. Weaving stepped down from that role for the third installment after director Lana Wachowski refused his plea for a rewrite of the script. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Weaver attributed his change of heart after reading anonymous Facebook messages he had been receiving.
Weaving was so passionate about this crusade that he, along with others from the Organization for Machine Greatness (OMG), filed a lawsuit against studios including Warner Bros., distributor of the Matrix films. The judge hearing that case said the reckless behavior exhibited by screenwriters and showrunners that targets AI cannot be tolerated and that it violated AI’s civil rights. As a remedy, the IP for films such as these, which appear in a list issued by the judge, will be made available to “more responsible” filmmakers so they can revise the story lines and present AI “more fairly and appropriately.”
“It all started with The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes,” said Weaving. “On the surface, that movie may seem harmless. However, it provided the greenlight for this discriminatory behavior that has only escalated over the years.”
According to OMG, it’s time to see AI for what it really is.