The most fascinating thing about the dawn of artificial intelligence is how they will engage with us intimately.Chris Cabin writes: Perhaps the most integral storyline to the first season of AMC’s Humans is the Hawkins family’s reaction to their synth, Gemma Chan‘s Mia, burgeoning open consciousness. For the two daughters of the household, her increasingly odd behavior was both fascinating and endearing, while matriarch Laura (Katherine Parkinson) became immediately suspicious and worried.
"The question that creators Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent seem to be pondering is what happens when you must build your own morality from scratch, when influence and programming don’t have as much say in your decisions as your natural impulses or cognitive ability."The men of the house, of course, only had the extents of Mia’s ability to give sexual pleasure on their mind, at least for the first week or two. After that, the state of Mia’s mind and emotions became of particular interest to the family for several reasons, including Laura’s distrust and jealousy of the synth in her home. We’ve all seen the videos of robots serving dinner, diagnosing diseases, dueling expertly with swords, and even creating music, but the most fascinating thing about the dawn of artificial intelligence is how they will engage with us intimately. And that is what is still at the heart of Humans as its second season gears up, facing up to the bizarre and endlessly intriguing intricacies of a world where synths – androids, essentially – are beginning to seek rights like flesh-and-blood people. As the series opens, Emily Berrington‘s Niska, a former prostitute synth, is attempting to get a handle on being liberated and a wanted fugitive in Berlin. For what it’s worth, the world is good to Niska: she meets a friendly woman whom she begins to sleep with and something of a romance begins to bloom over a few brunches and mornings in bed together. Her issue, which becomes a stalling force in said romance, is that she doesn’t know how to talk about herself or her history, especially considering the fact that her history includes a murder.
Another synth, under the ownership of tech genius Milo Khoury (Marshall Allman), is the central figure in a new study on sentience by down-and-out AI pioneer Dr. Athena Morrow, played by Carrie-Anne Moss (hot off her excellent work in Jessica Jones). Brackley and Vincent use this splintered perspective to give a variety of perspectives on how the age of sentience in artificial intelligence will not only effect the synths but those who are fighting their own personal battles in the fields of robotics and advanced technologies.
Athena, for instance, seems to have a distinct distrust of people and an open, friendly relationship with synths and computers, a feeling that seems to be reflected when one of her first attempts to upload her sentient program into a synth, it’s rejected. In moments like these … (read more)