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'Chappie' and 21st Century sci-fi grasps to imagine future of artificial intelligence

A scene from the movie '2001: A Space Odyssey'
A scene from the movie '2001: A Space Odyssey'
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"Chappie," the big science fiction film opening this weekend, takes on the concept of artificial intelligence  - when robots become empowered to think for themselves often with dangerous consequences.

It's well-trodden ground by sci fi masters such as James Cameron & Gale Anne Hurd, Stanley Kubrick and George Lucas. However, in the 20th century, those filmmakers had the advantage of the genre being more fictional than scientific.

As our techie culture continues to make leaps and bounds, are filmic portrayals of artificial intelligence keeping up? What makes a robot believable in the 21st century? What was evocative about R2-D2, the Terminator, and Samantha in Spike Jonze's "Her?"


Lael Loewenstein, film critic for KPCC and Variety

Henry Sheehan, film critic for KPCC and