These are some must-watch AI movies to learn about the capabilities of AI. Although the idea of artificial intelligence has been around for thousands of years, the term wasn’t actually coined until 1956 at a conference held at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Legends, myths, and tales of man-made animals coming to life, thinking, and acting like people are common in many cultures around the world.
These storytellers entertained (and perhaps frightened) their Greek, Egyptian, and Chinese audiences with tales about automatons and robots.
Some people love Artificial Intelligence (or A.I.), and some are terrified of it. These movies use sentient AI to tell great, timeless stories.
Robots are a common factor in many sci-fi movies, as they’ve always seemed like something a futuristic society would have. Of course, as society progresses, there are some real life robots now, maybe even within your own home.
While we may have numerous examples of artificial intelligence nowadays, one thing we still haven’t discovered (for better or worse) is making these robots actually sentient, something we still only see in fiction.
So, in that spirit, we present the top fifty artificial intelligence movies to watch right now, spanning everything from timeless classics to breakthrough titles that have redefined the genre.
So without further ado, let dive in.
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Best Artificial Intelligence Movies To Watch In 2023
“Ex Machina,” the directorial debut by novelist and screenwriter Alex Garland (“28 Days Later,” “Sunshine”), is a rare and welcome exception to that norm.
It starts out as an ominous thriller about a young programmer (Domhnall Gleeson) orbiting a charismatic Dr. Frankenstein-type (Oscar Isaac) and slowly learning that the scientist’s zeal to create artificial intelligence has a troubling, even sickening personal agenda.
With the debate over artificial intelligence and whether the technology will ever become fully conscious as the starting point, Ex Machina follows a young coder as he gets to spend a week at his reclusive boss’s remote mansion, testing his latest creation.
2. Blade Runner
But even as the revelations pile up and the screws tighten and you start to sense that terror and violence are inevitable, the movie never loses grip on what it’s about; this is a rare commercial film in which every scene, sequence, composition and line deepens the screenplay’s themes—which means that when the bloody ending arrives, it seems less predictable than inevitable and right, as in myths, legends and Bible stories.
The scientist, Isaac’s Nathan, has brought the programmer Caleb (Gleason) to his remote home/laboratory in the forested mountains and assigned Caleb to interact with a prototype of a “female” robot, Ava (Alicia Vikander), to determine if she truly has self-awareness or it’s just an incredible simulation.
The story is emotionally and geographically intimate, at times suffocating, unfolding in and around Nathan’s stronghold. This modernist bunker with swingin’ bachelor trappings is sealed off from the outside world.
Many of its rooms are off-limits to Caleb’s restricted key card. The story is circumscribed with the same kind of precision. Caleb’s conversations with Ava are presented as discrete narrative sections, titled like chapters in a book (though the claustrophobic setting will inevitably remind viewers of another classic of shut-in psychodrama, Stanley Kubrick’s film of “The Shining”).
These sections are interspersed with scenes between Caleb, Nathan, and Nathan’s girlfriend (maybe concubine) Kyoko (Sonoya Mizono), a nearly mute, fragile-seeming woman who hovers near the two men in a ghostly fashion.
This is a classic nerd fantasy, and there is a sense in which “Ex Machina” might be described as “Stanley Kubrick’s Weird Science.”
Blade Runner describes a future in which, through genetics, artificial humans are manufactured and called “replicants”; employees in dangerous jobs and slaves in the outer colonies of the Earth. Made by Tyrell Corporation under the motto “more humans than humans” -especially the “Nexus-6” models- not only resembles humans, they are far superior physically.
The replicants were declared illegal on planet Earth after a bloody mutiny occurred on the planet Mars, where they worked as slaves. A special police force, Blade Runners, is in charge of identifying, tracking and killing – or “withdrawing”, in terms of the police itself – the fugitive replicants found on Earth.
With a group of replicants loose in Los Angeles, Rick Deckard, the best agent that has existed in regard to the recovery and removal of the replicas, is removed from his semi-retirement to use some of “the old magic blade runner”.
Ridley Scott fantastic dark cyberpunk style and futuristic design is so well made that accomplished to create a visual vocabulary: neon lights, abandonment, decay, loneliness, obscurity, indifference and alienation are the core of the aesthetics of the film, which will eventually become and serve as a pattern for successive cinematographic works.
The script David Webb Peoples adapted from ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ takes the viewer into a dwelling and philosophical controversy, as it creates doubt and empathy to the so called replicants, primarily as seen in many shots of Rick Deckard hesitating about the true nature of his task.
Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer haunts the attention into the essence of the story. Their characterization throughout infiltrates the different conceptions of life. A saddened soul searching for the meaning of his punished existence and the other, ruminating a task sinking him into a moral void brimming with guilt.
At the end, the movie leaves you wondering about the implications the creation of highly intelligent beings (IA) must have and, if it’s worth treating them as machines or they have become so human that the difference is non-existent.
3. The Matrix Series
“You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” With these words in the Wachowskis’ 1999 sci-fi classic:
The Matrix (★★★★★) – now re-released as a trilogy with its two sequels – the ironically named Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) issues a wakeup call to computer hacker Neo (Keanu Reeves). The red pill will show Neo harsh reality, because everything he thinks he knows is false.
And that applies to us too: all of us consumers placidly sucking up the trance-inducing pap from the corporate-political complex of the state.
The red pill and the blue pill was the meme The Matrix gifted to pop culture at the dawn of the online age: it often seems as if no discussion of “reality” – nor any conspiracy theorist blogger – can get very far without invoking the sacred pills. Slavoj Žižek mischievously said he wanted a third pill, one that shows the reality within the illusion, not behind it..
The Matrix still stands up as a fiercely exciting and discombobulating futurist drama, which pioneered breathtaking “bullet-time” action sequences inspired by Asian martial arts.
The Matrix Reloaded (★★★☆☆) in 2003 wasn’t as good and has stood the test of time less well, but is still better than its critics claimed at the time: an exuberant, original, droll action picture that gave Carrie-Anne Moss a further chance to shine as Trinity (now in a relationship with Neo) – and her fight scenes here are as good as anything in the Matrix trilogy.
The Matrix Revolutions (★★☆☆☆), released the same year, is sadly where the whole franchise runs out of steam, marooned in a pretty standard situation where the humans fight “the machines” and leaving fans with the sinking feeling that the Wachowskis had followed their Star Wars almost immediately with their Phantom Menace. But it’s still exciting to revisit the trilogy and to savour Moss’ lethal charisma.
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Award-winning AI Movie
2001: A Space Odyssey is one of the most popular artificial intelligence movies, and everyone reading this can mark it as essential viewing. The movie is directed by Stanley Kubrick, known for The Shining and A Clockwork Orange.
An imposing black structure provides a connection between the past and the future in this enigmatic adaptation of a short story by revered sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke.
When Dr. Dave Bowman (Keir Dullea) and other astronauts are sent on a mysterious mission, their ship’s computer system, HAL, begins to display increasingly strange behavior, leading up to a tense showdown between man and machine that results in a mind-bending trek through space and time.
The film did not provide the clear narrative and easy entertainment cues the audience expected. The closing sequences, with the astronaut inexplicably finding himself in a bedroom somewhere beyond Jupiter, were baffling.
The plot, so-called, uses up almost two hours in exposition of scientific advances in space travel and communications, before anything happens.
The surprisingly dull prolog deals with the “advancement of man,” centering on a group of apes (the makeup is amateurish compared to that in “Planet of the Apes”).
An important prop is also introduced but so sketchily that many viewers will scarcely note, and promptly forget it–a huge black monolith is shown briefly (to reappear light years later as the key to possible life on planets other than Earth).
The little humor is provided by introducing well-known commercial names which are presumably still operational during the space age: the Orbiter Hilton hotel, refreshments by Howard Johnson, picture phones by Bell, and Pan Am space ships (although one shown is carrying only a single passenger).
A computer named Hal that can talk is, initially, good for a laugh but when it turns out to be the villain, this attitude quickly changes.
Hal (voiced by Douglas Rain, although originally done by Martin Balsam) is one of the film’s best effects and surprisingly acceptable, considering reaction to it is based on the use of a voice.
Dullea and Gary Lockwood, as the two principal astronauts, are not introduced until well along in the film.
Their complete lack of emotion becomes rather implausible during scenes where they discover, and discuss, the villainy of the computer.
Except for William Sylvester, as the scientist who reveals the project to investigate possibility of life on another planet, the other human roles are little more than walkons.
5. A.I. Artificial Intelligence
The title suggests the opposite of mindfulness. It points to soul, the spirit — an unexpected theme for a movie that gestated from Spielberg’s collaboration with Stanley Kubrick, popularly considered the most cerebral of all filmmakers.
Each man exchanges his sentiments and alarms. It’s the toymaker’s and the intellectual’s private joke made public.
No other millennial movie went so deep as A.I. into universal experience — the secret needs of childhood that are forgotten in adulthood.
Although based on the short story “Supertoys Last All Summer Long,” by Brian Aldiss, it most significantly re-creates the 1883 Carlo Collodi classic Pinocchio.
Walt Disney’s 1940 animated version is a touchstone for Spielberg and his special regard for childhood innocence. He updates the story of a puppet who longs to be a real boy into a modern tale about sensitivity-equipped robot David (perfectly acted by The Sixth Sense’s Haley Joel Osment), who desires to achieve human fulfillment.
It combines dark sci-fi futuristic fantasy with the emotional amplitude of classic fairy tales. Spielberg-Kubrick’s conceit confronts pop nihilism and resolves it, which is why stupid reviewers castigated a film that demands reconsideration today.
When A.I. debuted just three months before 9/11, no one imagined that America would become a nation where citizens’ liberties were curtailed by Silicon Valley overlords through methods of artificial intelligence and virtual-reality substitutes for humanity.
But this extraordinary sequence predicts the conditions of emotional totalitarianism — the visceral hatred, the lack of love — that amounts to political persecution.
It resonates in two ways: panic among humans, and also among mechanicals (Mechas) such as David and the fugitive adult robot Gigolo Joe (Jude Law), who are fleeing the threat of roundups, witch hunts, and capture. A charred Flesh Fair robot (voiced by comedian Chris Rock) grins at the audience.
Symbolizing historical lynchings, this image evokes today’s twisted political rhetoric in which media elites use race victimization to further a bifurcated class culture.
Who could have guessed, in 2001, that this powerfully disturbing sequence could be reversed — or that Spielberg and Kubrick knew that “Jim Crow” rhetoric and race exploitation would be revived? A.I.’s speculative fiction shows us the terror that has come true.
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Artificially intelligent operating systems or virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Bixby can make our lives easier and better organized, but what if the technology became so sophisticated that you could even fall in love with it? That’s the premise of Her, where a lonely man falls in love with an incredibly sophisticated AI system called Samantha.
Her is an interesting AI movie because it revolves around technology already in use; it just happens to be a more advanced model. Her also touches upon how people are increasingly relying on AI.
Visionary and traditional, wispy and soulful, tender and cool, SpikeJonze‘s Her ponders the nature of love in the encroaching virtual world and dares to ask the question of what might be preferable, a romantic relationship with a human being or an electronic one that can be designed to provide more intimacy and satisfaction than real people can reliably manage.
Taking place tomorrow or perhaps the day after that, this is a probing, inquisitive work of a very high order, although it goes a bit slack in the final third and concludes rather conventionally compared to much that has come before.
A film that stands apart from anything else on the horizon in many ways, it will generate an ardent following, which Warner Bros. can only hope will be vocal and excitable enough to make this a must-see for anyone who pretends to be interested in something different.
As it will for two hours, the camera stays very close to this well-mannered, proper fellow, who goes home to his upper-floor apartment to play a life-sized 3D video game featuring a foul-mouthed cartoon character who insults him — a poor substitute for his wife (RooneyMara), who’s divorcing him.
Quick and funny anonymous phone sex follows, but Theodore then explores a new electronic offering, an operating system (OS1) that absorbs information and adapts so fast that the resulting conversation matches anything real life can offer. Or — and this is the part that’s both seductive and unnerving — it might be even better.
Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet’s power problems.
In this Artificial Intelligence movie, you have GERTY, the AI that helps maintain the lunar base. It also provides Sam Bell, the protagonist and sole crew member, with company. GERTY represents A.I,’s potential as both a resource for operating a facility and a source of comfort and camaraderie.
The “2001” vessel dealt with the physical challenges with its centrifuge. Dave and Frank had each other — and HAL. Sam is all on his own, except for Gerty, whose voice by Kevin Spacey suggests he was programmed by the same voice synthesizers used for HAL.
Gerty seems harmless and friendly, but you never know with these digital devils. All Sam knows is that he’s past his shelf date, and ready to be recycled back to Earth.
After the mission carrying Dave Bowman disappeared beyond Jupiter, mankind decided to focus on the moon, where we were already, you will recall, conducting operations.
In “Moon,” the interior design of the new lunar station was influenced by the “2001” ship, and the station itself is supervised by Gerty, sort of a scaled-down HAL 9000 that scoots around.
Space is a cold and lonely place, pitiless and indifferent, as Bruce Dern’s character grimly realized in Douglas Trumbull’s classic “Silent Running.”
At least he had the consolation that he was living with Earth’s last vegetation. Sam has no consolations at all. It even appears that a new man may have entered the orbits of his wife and daughter.
8. The Terminator
There’s no doubt that The Terminator is the perfect example of an AI movie. The cyborg assassin known as The Terminator is sent through time itself by Skynet, a sentient machine that is trying to kill the human race in the future.
Skynet believes that by sending the Terminator back in time and killing Sarah Connor, the soon-to-be mother of a son who rallies the remaining humans against Skynet and leads the resistance that is gaining the upper hand.
Disguised as a human, a cyborg assassin known as a Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) travels from 2029 to 1984 to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton).
Sent to protect Sarah is Kyle Reese (Michael Biehn), who divulges the coming of Skynet, an artificial intelligence system that will spark a nuclear holocaust.
Sarah is targeted because Skynet knows that her unborn son will lead the fight against them. With the virtually unstoppable Terminator in hot pursuit, she and Kyle attempt to escape.
With its impressive action sequences, taut economic direction, and relentlessly fast pace, it’s clear why The Terminator continues to be an influence on sci-fi and action flicks.
9. Minority Report
Making a comeback, just a year after the release of A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Steven Spielberg delved once more into AI technology with Minority Report. Starring Tom Cruise as Precrime police officer John Anderton, this neo-noir movie is set primarily in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia in a distant future, where PreCrime cops are able to arrest criminals based on foreknowledge provided by three psychics known as ‘precogs’. The dilemma arises when Anderton is accused of a future crime and has to run from his own unit while trying to prove his innocence.
Minority Report turned out to be predictive of modern computer science, foretelling technologies that have since become commonplace, including personalized ads, voice automation and gesture controlled computers.
Even predictive policing, arguably Minority Report’s biggest theme, has become a reality nowadays. PredPol, an AI-based tool, has been deployed in approximately 40 agencies across the United States since 2012 to predict and prevent future crime.
Based on a story by famed science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, “Minority Report” is an action-detective thriller set in Washington D.C. in 2054, where police utilize a psychic technology to arrest and convict murderers before they commit their crime.
Tom Cruise plays the head of this Precrime unit and is himself accused of the future murder of a man he hasn’t even met.
10. The Machine
This Welsh-backed sci-fi thriller, probably made for less than Captain America’s coffee budget, is madly uneven. On the one hand, Caradog James’s script packs in more ideas per square inch than every schlocky sci-fi film by Paul WS Anderson (Resident Evil) put together.
On the other hand, the last act is as predictable as rain in Snowdonia. Still the good bits mostly outweigh the bad. Toby Stephens stars as a Frankenstein-like neuroscientist employed by the MoD to rebuild damaged soldiers to fight in an ongoing cold war against the Chinese.
When his associate (Caity Lotz) is murdered, he builds a cyborg in her image, the machine of the title who nevertheless has a moral GPS calibrated to a much finer degree than the humans around her.
James overflogs the what-is-the-nature-of-being-dead horse, but directs with brio. Meanwhile, Lotz, with her child-like fragility and snappy kickboxing moves, is eminently watchable.
The Machine proves an audacious debut for writer-director Caradog James and a solid entry in modern British sci-fi, with thematic heft to match its genre thrills.
11. Star Trek: The Next Generation
It was a show that few predicted would last one season, let alone seven. Trying to recapture the glory of a long cancelled sci-fi series from the 60s seemed like hubris; replacing William Shatner’s virile Captain Kirk with balding, 47-year-old Yorkshireman Patrick Stewart, described by the LA Times as an “unknown British Shakespearean actor” appeared sheer insanity.
But, after a few shaky seasons of variable quality, it worked, equalling the bottled lightning of the original and in many ways surpassing it.
Managing a constant average of around 20 million viewers in the US alone for its entire run, Star Trek: The Next Generation presented a captivating, seductively optimistic vision of a human future where disease, poverty and national borders were things of the past.
Unlike Kirk’s crew, the problems Picard and his cohorts faced were ones they couldn’t just punch, phaser or kiss their way out of. This was a less violent, more cerebral show, with a cast of rare chemistry and ability – all were theatrically trained.
Over the years, they all got a chance to shine, with Brent Spiner as Data the super-intelligent android who had aspirations of humanity, and Michael Dorn as the Klingon Lieutenant Worf, constantly battling his aggressive instincts, both standing out.
Each combined the otherworldly with the recognisably human, but never made the viewer doubt they were watching a robot and an alien.
Next Generation managed a decent average of about one episode in four being great television – almost anyone would appreciate the smart, original storytelling.
Anything with the coldly confrontational cybernetic race the Borg was great value, as were adventures featuring the near-omnipotent troublemaker Q.
Outer space provided the show with incredible scope: from courtroom dramas such as The Measure of a Man, in which Data must prove he can be classed as a lifeform, to the harrowing Chain Of Command, where Picard is captured on a clandestine mission and subjected to a brutal and relentless interrogation, and the time-twisting Yesterday’s Enterprise, where the crew collides with an alternate and more militaristic alternate universe in which a decades long war with the Klingons is being waged.
So far, only the first two seasons have been completed in a difficult and complex restoration programme. But Next Generation, arguably the most successful and recognisable of all the many offshoots of the Trek franchise, deserves the special treatment. Really, there’s never been a better time to watch this great, classic television show, and that’s a scientific fact.
12. Star Wars
When you think of sci-fi, Star Wars may be one of the first titles that come to mind. As one of the largest movie franchises of the 21st century, Star Wars pioneered the long line of epic space adventures that directors try to replicate to this day.
With meticulous world-building and complex characters, Star Wars definitely takes you out of this world with its storytelling.
The first Star Wars movie (Episode IV) premiered on May 25, 1977. As of 2020, a total of 9 Star Wars movies have been released.
In the Star Wars universe, C-3PO is a cyborg built by Anakin Skywalker to assist others in translating etiquette and customs procedures. This cyborg also knows over 6 million forms of communication, which makes it a handy companion during space travel among different species.
While C-3PO has been criticized for his oblivious nature in the Star Wars films, this character served a vital role in the original trilogy. Apart from the original films, C-3PO also appears in many of the television series, comic books, and video games.
No one would blame you for arching a skeptical eyebrow if someone told you that Robocop contains some deep meaning and thoughts about the morality of AI, and yet here we are.
Sure, the AI movie is big, dumb fun. Still, it also touches upon the dangers of weaponizing AI and raises questions about who is creating the programming and what parameters they are employing?
Robocop is said to be a movie that truly unmasks the ethics of AI. This is because Robocop is an amalgamation of AI and human, which proves the fact that morality and ethics cannot be artificial or automated. Our underlying humanity still needs to be a part of the equation or consequences will follow.
This relates to the dangers of weaponizing AI in the military (lethal autonomous weapon systems) and why regulations of AI use must be set in place to prevent misuse of AI
Fascination with all things ‘cyberpunk’ reached fever pitch in the 80’s, not just with cult classics like Blade Runner (1982) and The Terminator (1984), but also greatly thanks to Paul Verhoeven’s human/machine action-packed revenge thriller – Robocop.
The backdrop of this sci-fi movie is dystopian, crime-ridden Detroit where a police officer named Alex J. Murphy is recreated by a shady megacorporation – Omni Consumer Products – as a cyborg known as RoboCop after being murdered by a vicious criminal gang.
The part-man, part-machine super-cop is then tasked with cleaning up the city’s streets, while struggling to understand some of his repressed (human) memories as they resurface.
RoboCop is said to be the movie that first raised the issue of AI Ethics, laying out some of the potential dangers of misusing the technology. Despite being over three decades old, RoboCop remains one of the top artificial intelligence films ever made.
14. I, Robot
I, Robot is a 2004 American science fiction action film directed by Alex Proyas. The screenplay by Jeff Vintar and Akiva Goldsman is from a screen story by Vintar, based on his original screenplay Hardwired, and named after Isaac Asimov’s 1950 short-story collection.
The film stars Will Smith in the main role, Bridget Moynahan, Bruce Greenwood, James Cromwell, Chi McBride, and Alan Tudyk. In 2035, highly intelligent robots fill public service positions throughout the dystopianworld, operating under three rules to keep humans safe.
Detective Del Spooner (Smith) investigates the alleged suicide of U.S. Robotics founder Alfred Lanning (Cromwell) and believes that a human-like robot called Sonny (Tudyk) murdered him.
VIKI (Virtual Interactive Kinetic Intelligence) is a supercomputer turned evil that uses data collected from around the world and its computational powers control robots all over the world.
In this world, robots are everywhere and they are given laws embedded into their system that ensure the safety of society.
But with VIKI, those laws no longer hold the robots back, and it’s up to a technophobic cop and a good robot stop VIKI from ending the world.
This film brings about the harrowing possibility of AI taking over the world and how even laws set in place to control them can backfire.
WALL-E is a 2008 American computer-animated science fiction film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures.
It was directed and co-written by Andrew Stanton, produced by Jim Morris, and co-written by Jim Reardon. It stars the voices of Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin, John Ratzenberger, Kathy Najimy, with Sigourney Weaver and Fred Willard.
The overall ninth feature film produced by the studio, WALL-E follows a solitary robot on a future, uninhabitable, deserted Earth in 2805, left to clean up garbage.
He is visited by a probe sent by the starship Axiom, a robot called EVE, with whom he falls in love and pursues across the galaxy.
WALL-E has minimal dialogue in its early sequences; many of the characters do not have voices, but instead communicate with body language and robotic sounds designed by Burtt.
The film incorporates various topics including consumerism, corporatocracy, nostalgia, waste management, human environmental impact and concerns, obesity/sedentary lifestyles, and global catastrophic risk.
It is also Pixar’s first animated film with segments featuring live-action characters. Thomas Newman composed the film’s musical score. The film received critical acclaim for its animation, story, voice acting, characters, visuals, score, use of minimal dialogue, and scenes of romance.
Other Top Artficial Intellignce Movies To Watch Now
19. Coded Bias
21. The Great Hack
22. The Social Dilemma
23. I Am Mother
25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
28. Tron: Legacy
29. Lo And Behold: Reveries of the Connected World
32. I am Your Man
34. Robot and Frank
35. Short Circuit
36. Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery
39. Black Mirror
41. Margin Call
42. The Imitation game
43. A Beautiful Mind
44. Resident Evil
45. The Iron Giant
46. The Day the Earth Stood Still
47. Silent Running
49. Bicentennial Man
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Wrapping Up On Best Artificial Intelligence Movies To Watch Now
I hope that through these amazing sci-fi films, you are able to be fully engrossed into a world where AI becomes a friend, a lover, a killer, a soldier, a slave, and discover the power of mathematics and algorithms and its ability to achieve amazing things like stopping a war and winning big in a casino.
Artificial Intelligence is truly the greatest invention of humanity. As seen in the movies, AI will either be the death of us, or an augmentation of our human cognitive and physical abilities, allowing us to do incredible things.