If you are a computer, AI, or philosophy geek, you should be watching Humans on AMC. Tonight’s episode was amazing. The lines between humans and AI are blurring, and there are a few surprises, including one very mind-altering discovery. (Some spoilers follow.)
This week’s script reminded me of the anime Armitage. In case you are unfamiliar with the Armitage movies, they center around an android cop on Mars who has to hide her nature from everyone because she is afraid of being revealed as a humanoid AI. In the movie, the people who hate the robots–the ones who fear them–break and burn them in the streets. Protestors gather everywhere, saying the robots are replacing hard-working human citizens. When a man starts killing and exposing sentient androids, Armitage’s position and those of her brethren are in danger. She uncovers clues left by her creator–her “father”–leading to amazing discoveries about herself and her sisters.
Humans deals with many of the same issues and similar problems. Is Anita real like a human? Is it wrong when humans mistreat robots? Both Mattie and Niska mention how mistreatment of synths is a reflection of the mistreatment formerly leveled at humans–primarily human women, now female androids. Remember, “This mechanical maid is capable of serving more than just breakfast in bed.” Obvious ties between slaves or indentured servitude and the positions held by the robots exist in the material shown. The big difference is the majority of them seem to be incapable of realizing they are being abused. For now.