Artificial Intelligence Becomes More Human in Futuristic Drama “MARJORIE PRIME”
will the future be for man if artificial intelligence becomes more
human? Find out what happens in the acclaimed futuristic drama
“Marjorie Prime” when it opens September 26 in local (PH)
reminiscent of the Black Mirror series, critics are saying that it
could be the series’ best-written episode yet, “Marjorie
Prime” is based on a play (of the same title) by New York
playwright Jordan Harrison, who had wanted to construct a play about
artificial intelligence (AI) and inspired by Brian Christian’s 2011
book, “The Most Human Human: What Artificial Intelligence Teaches
Us About Being Alive” which hypothesizes that computers will
continue to get better at being human than humans.
“Marjorie Prime” into a feature film is Michael Almereyda, who
also directed and wrote the movie. The movie has already
won 2017’s distinguished Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Award
from Sundance Film Festival and a Best Supporting Actress
for Lois Smith from the Satellite Awards.
a companion for the elderly, Marjorie’s (Lois Smith) son-in-law,
Jon (Tim Robbins) decides to provide her with a prime to help her
recall and bridge gaps on her lost memories. His wife Tess
(Geena Davis) does not exactly agree with the idea as she feels
uncomfortable with a prime that is a young version of her deceased
father, Walter (Jon Hamm).
movie brings us to a future where primes serve the elderly to keep
their minds sharp. But more than that, primes are invented
as a kind of replacement memory system. They are intended
to soften the blow of someone else’s trauma and being holograms,
they can’t be touched or felt. Being more than
projections. They mirror their human companions, reflecting the
energies and emotions that get beamed onto them.
of the humans indeed has a different kind of relationship with the
Primes. Walter Prime, for Marjorie, “is there to keep her company,
and remind her of the things from her life, her history,” Smith
explains. And, it seems, she likes it. But, in
general, she doesn’t have a lot of neuroses about Walter Prime.
It’s kind of a functional relationship.”
Prime” raises many questions too – about memories and about how
much our identities are built on how we perceive these memories. “It
has something to say about the unreliability of memory, but also the
mystery of memory. I think Jordan’s also suggesting that memory can
have a healing power,” Almereyda states.
gives rise to other questions, as Harrison notes, “How do we
construct ourselves? If we start to not remember things, because of
dementia, then do we cease to be ourselves? Is there some kind
of ineffable soul that binds all those memories together?”
Adds Hamm, regarding technology, “How much do we want to
make our memories real? As exciting and enthralling an idea as that
might be, it could also have some unintended effects. Do we
necessarily really want to go down that road in the world of
artificial intelligence? Then what does that mean for our definition
of relationships? I think that’s what the film is asking.”
CrystalSky Multimedia, catch “Marjorie Prime” in cinemas this
Wednesday, Sept. 26.