Ai vs Frankenstein

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Movie: Artificial Intelligence

In the not-so-far future the polar ice caps have melted and the resulting rise of ocean waters has drowned all the coastal cities of the world. Withdrawn to the interior of the continents, the human race keeps advancing, reaching to the point of creating realistic robots-called mechas-to serve them. An ambitious Professor succeeds in building David, an artificial kid, the first of its kind programmed to provide endless love for its adopter. David is adopted by Monica as a substitute for her real son, but an unfortunate sequence of events leads Monica to abandon David. Believing that Monica will love him only if he becomes a real boy, David sets off to find the Blue Fairy (from the fairy tale Pinocchio), whom he earnestly believes is the only one with the power to grant him his wish.

Artificial Intelligence is very similar to Mary Shelly's Frankenstein in that the underlying themes, questions asked, and moral issues raised are the same.

The main idea being appropriated is that of creating life, although not ‘life' in its usual context referring to living organisms. The ‘life' created (or rather built) in AI is in fact a mere imitation of life, a mechanical substitute human boy…artificial intelligence. In AI, the creation is David, and he bears immediate similarities to the Frankenstein monster. In the book, the monster was to be Frankenstein's ‘perfect' human, a soul who knew nothing but love. Ironically, David was programmed to provide unconditional love and also served the purpose of being the perfect replacement of a ‘human' boy.

The desire to aid mankind through scientific and technological advancement is shared by both creators in their respective texts. In the film however, the Frankenstein equivalent is indirectly achieved by another character after David's initial creation. The Frankenstein role is in fact fulfilled by Monica, David's adopter (‘mother'), who activates David by...
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