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15 Depictions of Robots and AI in Film

15 Depictions of Robots and AI in Film


15 Depictions of Robots and AI in Film

1) The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Written by Edmund H. North and based on the 1940 science fiction short story "Farewell to the Master" by Harry Bates, in The Day the Earth Stood Still, a humanoid alien visitor named Klaatu comes to Earth, accompanied by a powerful eight-foot tall robot, Gort, to deliver an important message that will affect the entire human race.

2) 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

The film follows a voyage to Jupiter with the sentient computer HAL after the discovery of a mysterious black monolith affecting human evolution. The film deals with themes of existentialism, human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence and the possibility of the existence of extraterrestrial life.

3) Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

The Imperial Forces, under orders from cruel Darth Vader, hold Princess Leia hostage, in their efforts to quell the rebellion against the Galactic Empire. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo , captain of the Millennium Falcon, work together with the companionable droid duo R2-D2 and C-3PO to rescue the beautiful princess, help the Rebel Alliance, and restore freedom and justice to the Galaxy.


The film's success led to two critically and commercially successful sequels, The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983, and later to a prequel trilogy, a sequel trilogy, and anthology films.

4) Blade Runner (1982)

The film is set in a dystopian future Los Angeles of 2019, in which synthetic humans known as Replicants are bio-engineered by the powerful Tyrell Corporation to work on off-world colonies. When a fugitive group of replicants led by Roy Batty escapes back to Earth, burnt-out cop Rick Deckard reluctantly agrees to hunt them down. The sequel, Blade Runner 2049, was released in 2017.

5) Tron (1982)

The film stars Jeff Bridges as a computer programmer who is transported inside the software world of a mainframe computer where he interacts with programs in his attempt to escape. Over time, Tron developed into a cult film and eventually spawned a franchise, which consists of multiple video games, comic books, an animated television series and a sequel, Tron: Legacy in 2010.

6) The Terminator (1984)

The Terminator, a cyborg assassin, is sent back in time from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), whose son will one day become a savior against machines in a post-apocalyptic future. Its success led to a franchise consisting of four sequels (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator Salvation and Terminator Genisys), a television series, comic books and novels.

7) Robocop (1987)

Set in a crime-ridden Detroit, Michigan, in the near future, RoboCop centers on police officer Alex Murphy who is murdered by a gang of criminals and subsequently revived by the megacorporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP) as a superhuman cyborg law enforcer known as RoboCop.

8) The Matrix (1999)

The film depicts a dystopian future in which reality as perceived by most humans is actually a simulated reality called "the Matrix", created by Sentient machines to subdue the human population, while their bodies' heat and electrical activity are used as an energy source. Cybercriminal and computer programmer Neo learns this truth and is drawn into a rebellion against the machines, which involves other people who have been freed from the "dream world."

9) AI (2001)

Directed and produced by Steven Spielberg and set in a futuristic post-climate change society, A.I. tells the story of David, a childlike android uniquely programmed with the ability to love.

10) I, Robot (2004)

In the year 2035, humanoid robots serve humanity, which is protected by the Three Laws of Robotics. Del Spooner, a Chicago police detective, hates and distrusts robots because he was rescued from a car crash by a robot using cold logic (his survival was statistically more likely), leaving a 12-year-old girl to drown.

11) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Arthur Dent is trying to prevent his house from being bulldozed when his friend Ford Prefect whisks him into outer space. It turns out Ford is an alien who has just saved Arthur from Earth's total annihilation.

12) Moon (2009)

The film follows Sam Bell, a man who experiences a personal crisis as he nears the end of a three-year solitary stint mining helium-3 on the far side of the Moon with his robot companion, GERTY.

13) Her (2013)

The film follows Theodore Twombly, a man who develops a relationship with Samantha, an intelligent computer operating system personified through a female voice.

14) Transcendence (2014)

Dr. Will Caster, the world's foremost authority on artificial intelligence, is conducting highly controversial experiments to create a sentient machine. When extremists try to kill the doctor, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed.

15) Ex Machina (2015)

Caleb Smith a programmer at a huge Internet company, wins a contest that enables him to spend a week at the private estate of Nathan Bateman, his firm's brilliant CEO. When he arrives, Caleb learns that he has been chosen to be the human component in a Turing test to determine the capabilities and consciousness of Ava, a beautiful robot.


(This list is not intended to be a best of list, but merely highlights films that had some influence in the world of AI and Robotics).

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