Ex Machina

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Ex Machina is a 2014 science fiction psychological thriller film written and directed by Alex Garland. Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno, and Oscar Isaac star in a story that follows a programmer who is invited by his CEO to administer the Turing test to an intelligent humanoid robot.

Made on a budget of $15 million, the film grossed $36 million worldwide, and received largely positive reviews, with praise for its leading performances (particularly Vikander’s), the screenplay, the visual effects, and the editing. The National Board of Review recognised it as one of the ten best independent films of the year and the 88th Academy Awards awarded the film with the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, for artists Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Williams Ardington and Sara Bennett, becoming distribution company A24’s first film to win an Oscar.

Programmer Caleb Smith, who works for the dominant search engine company Blue Book, wins an office contest for a one-week visit to the luxurious, isolated home of the CEO, Nathan Bateman. Nathan lives in a modern home next to a waterfall and climbing hills and is alone apart from a servant named Kyoko, who according to Nathan does not speak English.

After Caleb arrives, Nathan reveals to him that he has built a female humanoid robot named Ava with artificial intelligence. After asking Caleb if he is familiar with the Turing test, Nathan tells Caleb that he wants him to judge whether Ava is genuinely capable of thought and consciousness despite knowing she is artificial. Furthermore, the test will be passed if Caleb forgets that Ava is not human during their daily sessions.

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