Artificial Intelligence In The Wachowski Brothers's The Matrix

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In the Wachowski Brothers’ film The Matrix (1999), mankind is being suppressed by a technological system known as the Matrix, the product of AI (artificial intelligence). This system controls humans through ridding them of their individual identities and keeping them sedated and living in a constructed dream world enabling machines to use their bodies as an energy source, thereby, ensuring their own continued survival. By extension, rendering humans as part of the whole, the “single consciousness” (The Matrix) that is AI. However, humans retain the ability to unplug from the technology that is the Matrix, separating themselves from the machines, resulting in the process of “othering”. Through “othering” humans are then able to pursue freedom…show more content…
This becomes evident when Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne), a father figure to the human resistance, tells Neo (Keanu Reeves), the protagonist of the film, the truth about his function in relation to the Matrix thus far, as a “slave”. He continues by explaining that “like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison of your mind”. Basically, Morpheus is telling Neo that, until this point, Neo has been living the illusion of being and individual with free-will, while in actuality, he has existed merely as a larger part of a whole, the “single consciousness” (The Matrix) of AI that is the Matrix. Upon going deeper down the “rabbit hole” Morpheus also tells Neo that he has to learn, “if you are not one of us, you are one of them”. Meaning that the humans that are plugged into the Matrix are not true humans because they do not exist outside of the technology of the Matrix. In order to be human, and claim a sense of identity, one must be enlightened enough to be able to exist both within and without the Matrix, one must know the truth, like Morpheus and his crew. Thereby, everyone still plugged into the Matrix is a part of the machine. Furthermore, “The Matrix conforms to a value system that equates the good with the real, truth, authenticity, self-knowledge, and free choice, and identifies the…show more content…
The Matrix is a technological system that does not allow for individuality. Morpheus tells Neo that the agents are “sentient programs. They can move in and out of any software still hardwired to the system. That means that anyone we haven’t unplugged is potentially an Agent. Inside the Matrix, they are everyone and they are no one”. As such, the Matrix is one big whole, a “single consciousness”, incapable of feeling or existing independently. The Matrix needs humans to survive. This results in the machines begin bound by rules, rules that humans, specifically Neo, are able to transcend once they have self-knowledge. In order to transcend these rules, they must as the spoon boy makes evident, not just think the Matrix is a dream world, they must know it. In that, the power dynamic in the “othering” relationship changes because humans become infinite beings while machines are bound by their own technology. The Oracle tells Neo a secret, “being the one is just like being in love. No one needs to tell you, you are in love, you just know it. Through and through”. The machines do not share this innate sense of knowing, these inexplicable feelings. The fact that machines cannot love becomes further proof of their “otherness” and their constructiveness. Feelings and an
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