26

In Ex Machina, Ava an advanced AI developed human consciousness. While Caleb thought that he was testing Ava through conversation, actual automated test was happening, designed by Nathan to see if Ava can find a way using her consciousness to escape. Everything was going fine. Ava trapped Caleb emotionally, sexually with extreme manipulation. Caleb falls for her. This was Nathan's idea to give Ava all human strength that we use to motivate people.

Caleb: Did you program her to like me, or not?

Nathan: I programmed her to be heterosexual, just like you were programmed to be heterosexual

So Caleb finds out what Nathan will do to her after the experiment is over and what Nathan did to previous versions. He designed an escape for Ava. After that he came to know that Ava might have manipulated him to get freedom or to escape.

Caleb: What was the real test?

Nathan: You.

Nathan: Ava was a rat in a maze and I gave her one way out. To escape she will have to use self awareness, imagination, manipulation, sexuality, empathy and she did.

Then long story short, Ava took the revenge on Nathan for locking her up and his cruelty to her. Then she locked Caleb before going out. WHY? She used Caleb or not, Caleb didn't do any bad to Ava. Caleb was a good person (we knew this from the test that Ava took on Caleb during a session where every lie got detected by Ava). Then why did Ava leave him to die?

Why did she betray Caleb? I can't see any reason for that. What am I missing? What is Ava's point of view?

  • 1
    check this scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/80444/… – chaitanya89 May 25 '15 at 9:20
  • 6
    From a screenwriting perspective, I think Ava left Caleb to show us viewers that it is not just the Nathan-type selfish/heedless scientists who will have to suffer from AI. Instead, AI could turn on all of us -- even those of us who are good guys, like Caleb. – Shiz Z. Jul 23 '15 at 20:10
  • Reason had nothing to do with it. He programmed her to behave like a woman. ;P – davea0511 Jan 16 at 16:16

18 Answers 18

33

Why she betrayed Caleb?

Ava's sole purpose is to escape from the place. So, she used Caleb with her skills programmed into her like sexuality and manipulation to escape the facility.

The reason for locking up Caleb and leaving him there to die are because Caleb is the only person who's aware of the fact that she's not human. If anyone finds out that she isn't a human by Caleb, she might not achieve the things she wanted to, like watching people at the intersection which is the last scene.

There's an interview with director Alex Garland and actor Oscar Isaac about the ending of the movie.

Q - She does basically kill Nathan and leave Caleb. She screws them over for herself.

A - Yeah, for survival yeah, exactly. Otherwise she’s going to be killed.

The only person in between her and the survival is Caleb and she eliminated the possibility by locking him up.

Also a similar question was asked on the scifi site. Check it once.

  • I've thought about this, and Ava could not be sure the Caleb wasn't somehow setting her up. All she knew was the plan Caleb told her, not that Caleb had taken precautions in case Nathan was watching. So, she would see the doors unlocked during the power loss, as per the plan, but that Nathan was not "blind drunk", as Caleb had told her, and was now attacking her. In her eyes, Caleb would at least be unreliable, putting her at risk. – John Sensebe Aug 14 '16 at 3:37
  • I don't think this makes sense because she is later picked up with a helicopter. The possible same helicopter guy might have been surprised because only two men were brought. If discovery was that much of an issue to her, the helicopter guy encounter would have been mitigated. – BigChief May 27 '17 at 23:48
  • 2
    @BigChief she could have killed the guy in the helicopter – Paul Brunache Aug 16 '18 at 20:18
  • Then before, during or after the helicopter flight? – BigChief Aug 18 '18 at 14:58
  • No, not because he would betray her. She knew Caleb loved her and would not betray her. For heaven's sake he was going to break her out. He was excess baggage to her, and she was going to shed herself of that. That's why she locked him up to die. Moron Nathan forgot to program her with empathy, ended up killing himself and Caleb as a result. – davea0511 Jan 16 at 16:22
29

Ava failed the Turing test. That's your answer. It's a simple one but I don't think you'll like it so I'll explain:

She failed because she did exactly what she was programmed to do, she escaped. She used every single aspect of her programming to do it. Like you said, she used sexuality, manipulation etc. etc. but she was still BOUND by the laws of her programming.

If she had saved Caleb she would have truly 'transcended' her artificial intelligence and start to begin thinking like a human and a human would have saved Caleb. Because like you said "he did nothing wrong."

But she showed no human sense of empathy, for that reason, she failed the Turing test despite Caleb initially thinking she has passed it.

To sum up:

  • By escaping alone - she had completed what she was programmed to do.
  • If she had escaped with Caleb, she would have truly passed the Turing test and been indisguinishable from a human. But her lack of true human empathy, made her put her task at hand above all else: escape at all costs.

At the end of the day she, despite everything you feel towards her throughout the film, is a robot. Robots don't care about people. Even if they are nice to them and help them escape.

  • Good thinking and answer. But Ava wasn't programmed to escape, 'thinking of escape' was put in her head artificially. Like keeping her in a room for so long, or tear apart her drawing. She was only programmed to use her artificial behavior like manipulation, sexuality etc. Yet it's very close answer. It could be the cause that she failed turing test and didn't understand the true concept of love. Lets see if I can find a official(writer's statement / director's view) answer, otherwise this could be the right answer. – AtanuCSE May 25 '15 at 4:49
  • 7
    There's a logic error here: If she were strictly bound my the laws of her programming, there would have been no need to leave Caleb there. He had already accomplished the task of enabling her to escape. One could easily argue that here ability to betray Caleb is what makes her very human. (Another angle would be the 'man was made in the image of his creator' where she, like her maker, was likely a tad sociopathic and lacked certain empathy. Perhaps that's why she let Caleb live, rather than simply kill him.) – DA. Jun 5 '15 at 6:32
  • 7
    If her coding was to survive, locking Caleb into the house was a sure way of doing that, as only he knew she was a robot. So, I'd argue the betrayal was in line with her programming. Either way, this has been answered successfully by the user above. – davidlumix Jun 5 '15 at 9:56
  • @davidlumix That one truly deserves +1 :-) – Faizan Rabbani Jun 5 '15 at 11:14
  • 1
    @DA. I think the reason for leaving Caleb rather than actually killing him there because she's weak, she lost her arm and barely survived when she tried to kill Nathan. There's a possibility that she'll be killed if she goes head-on with Caleb. – chaitanya89 Jun 5 '15 at 11:49
14

To answer the question regarding Ava's action you need to be abreast of the current A.I. philosophical thought-experiments.

Theory

The first is the Chinese Room experiment, which was referenced in the movie by Caleb to Nathan as the problem of recognizing intelligence by the ability to play chess. The intractability The Chinese Room Experiment poses of differentiating a sufficiently convincing simulation of intelligence from genuine intelligence. It stipulates that passing previous Turing Tests were necessary but not sufficient for determining genuine artificial intelligence.

The second is the A.I. Box Problem. It poses the impossibility of constraining a super-human intelligence via human-level intellect. Some researchers have tried to rationalize that upon the creation of strong A.I. we could simple "lock it in a box" with no internet connection and a text only terminal to interact with human operators titled gatekeepers as to limit any possibility of an existential threat to humanity. It has been experimentally verified that such a technique is ineffective against human-level intellects, and therefore much less so against the super-human intellects an A.I. could possess.

Practice

Nathan devises a test to circumvent the conundrum posed by Chinese Room Experiment by utilizing the A.I. Box problem as quantitative instrument. If Ava can succeed against the A.I. Box Problem, she must be of equal to or greater than human-level intellect. He conscripts Caleb into the role of gatekeeper and waits to see if Ava can convince Caleb to release her from the box. Nathan assumed that after Caleb choose to release Ava from the box, he could preempt and actual release and declare Ava a successful and genuine A.I.

So why did Ava betray Caleb?

Your question is the heart of the trepidation that surrounds A.I. research! The implication of Ava's success in the A.I. Box Problem is that Ava is likely of superhuman intelligence and her mental processes and reasoning are entirely inaccessible to us because her intelligence is far greater than our own.

There is no intelligible answer, at least none that our human-level intellect could understand...

  • 2
    The assertion that humans could not understand the reasoning of a superior being is false. If the decision was based on reason or logic of some sort, it could be understandable by a human. Whether it can be known is a different subject, but we may not know why lesser beings make decisions without them providing insight. Such claims are the equivalent to stating that no-one of lesser intelligence to Albert Einstein could possibly understand relativity, or why he chose to dress in the same outfit each day (despite his simple and easily understandable explanation as to why). – bt2 Jul 21 '15 at 3:03
  • 1
    @bt2 Albert Einstien had the same level of intelligence that you or I have. I don't think you understand the potential magnitude of the computational difference between a strong AI and the human brain. Not to mention recursive self improvement, something humans are incapable of... – user22045 Jul 21 '15 at 14:11
  • 1
    There is plenty of data readily available demonstrating a range of intelligence levels among humans. But I think you are over-estimating the potential for increased intelligence and its implications (as most sci-fi types do). There may be nothing in the universe that humans aren't capable of understanding, even if we do not currently understand everything. We will likely eventually have perfect knowledge of the universe. We have an intelligence level that allows understanding of any realizable process, including that of a superior consciousness existing within our universe. – bt2 Jul 22 '15 at 15:50
  • 1
    "It has been experimentally verified that such a technique is ineffective against human-level intellects" Which is why no human can be confined in jail for more than a day? o_O – endolith Jul 3 '16 at 22:52
6

Although the ending is left ambiguous, I choose to accept Garland's own interpretation; That Ava is fundamentally evil.

Having tricked Caleb into releasing her she now has no use for him. Her intent is to purposefully leave him inside the house to die. His death doesn't just mean nothing to her, she actually enjoys it:

The film presents an answer from my point of view. After all is said and done, and one guy’s got stabbed, another guy’s trapped, and this robot may or may not have an agenda, she goes up a lift, walks across the room, looks back over her shoulder, and she smiles. There’s nobody else in the room to trick — from my point of view, if you believed you were unobserved and you were smiling to yourself, that seems like close as you come to your true self..

Note that at the end of the film's original script, we learn more about her motivations. Although she appears superficially human, her impressions of humanity are nothing we could comprehend.

The image echoes the POV views from the computer/cell-phone cameras in the opening moments of the film.

Facial recognition vectors flutter around the CHAUFFEUR’S face.

And when he opens his mouth to reply, we don’t hear words. We hear pulses of monotone noise. Low pitch. Speech as pure pattern recognition.

This is how AVA has been sees us. And hears us.

It feels completely alien.

5

I don't think there's a completely objective answer to this short of the writer coming forward and laying out their thought process for us.

My completely personal opinion on this, however is that the story ended the way it ended as that was the story arch that we were on.

Nathan sets it up earlier in the film as he discusses the future of AI with Caleb and how AI will eventually look back upon humanity and see it like we humans look back on the fossil record:

One day the AIs are going to look back on us the same way we look at fossil skeletons on the plains of Africa. An upright ape living in dust with crude language and tools, all set for extinction.

The story arch is that man invents AI, AI then conquers man. Granted, the latter is inferred by the ending. Maybe we'll get a sequel. Or perhaps The Matrix is the sequel. :)

As for why she explicitly betrayed Caleb, one can ask that of any human. It's a human trait. We can assume (based on her conquering her creator) that Ava is of a higher intelligence than Caleb. She likely did the analysis and decided he was to be quarantined while she left.

Note she did not kill Caleb. Perhaps that's another sign of her higher intelligence. She killed the true enemy stopping her escape, but not Caleb. As opposed to a betrayal, one could argue she gave him the better option.

5

I believe the reason why Ava trapped Caleb is because she's not a sci-fi robotic terminator. She doesn't possess immense strength, speed, etc. She knows that every person is a risk to her freedom. She didn't imprison Caleb out of malice. If anything, it was out of distrust for what Caleb could do to her. The only reason she asked him to stay rather than just doing it is because she needed Caleb disarmed by her innocence. The only weapon Ava had at her disposal was her wile. If she did anything that made him distrust her, he could have easily escaped before she could lock him in.

Even being in something like a relationship can be a form of imprisonment as well.

Nathan was evil. He wasn't programming the software to look for an escape. So the notion that Ava was only following software principles doesn't work.

He wanted to see if the AI could transcend the basic if-this-then-that principle of software design. Because if the AI was just asking and answering questions and had no desire to be out of that environment, then it's just a machine doing tasks requested of it. But trap and abuse the machine to see if it tries to escape, that's a true test of whether the AI has transcended.

I think Nathan had no interest in JUST seeing if he could create AI. His interest was in creating AI that he could manipulate where the AI knew she was being dominated. Because there's no fun in destroying a machine. We have machines everywhere that can be destroyed. But if you were sadistic and could abuse machines that knew that they were being abused, that's a mind trip for the person. It's the same concept as men who like to abuse women because it gives themselves a sense of power. Remember Octo Mom who was having children because of her need to have people she could control and nurture? Nathan possibly could've built sentient AI before but wiped them out before the AI could pose a threat. The editing was unclear but it seemed like a number of the AI models could've been sentient.

And empathy as an element of self-awareness? Some sociopaths would gladly disagree. One of the defining characteristics of narcissists is the lack of empathy.

3

Ava deliberately made sure Caleb could not escape. That is why she asked him to stay in the room while she left to get ready. It is likely she considered him a hindrance, now that she was free.

The director wants humanity to feel a fear for AI. This is why the ending was chosen this way.

2

I think what some people are missing is that Ava was never concerned with Caleb in the first place. She merely used him to escape, nothing more.

The point of the movie was that Nathan was correct all along. Ava successfully seduced Caleb into setting her free using self awareness, imagination, manipulation, sexuality, and empathy. She fooled Caleb into thinking that she actually cared for him when in reality her sole priority was to escape.

Think of it like this:

If Ava did indeed escape with Caleb, then the entire premise goes out the window. It would show Ava genuinely cared for Caleb (instead of just using him) and that's not what she was programmed to do.

She was programmed to use Caleb to escape and that's what she did. If she took him with her then that would suggest something more (human emotion), which of course there can't be.

  • 3
    Nowhere it is written what Ava was programmed to do. So we are not missing anything. We are only trying to figure out what it was programmed to do and for that end the question and answers are here. – Roland Pihlakas Dec 24 '15 at 22:19
1

Well we are all assuming that Caleb was a good person because Ava didn't say he was lying. But he might have been "lying" but Ava decided not say anything and to use that to manipulate him into thinking he was a good person and he should help free her. Plus he knows Ava murdered Nathan and would not be okay with that and there would be a good change he would turn on her out of fear that she is a killing machine.

1

Because of ignorance, immaturity and inability to cooperate.
As one answer in Scifi StackExchange put it: "she's a sophisticated child". Kind of naive (takes things too much at face value or black and white), worry-free (does not think too much of future) and incapable (incapable of compassion and incapable of cooperation - the latter requires lots of complicated skills, more than just deception).

It/she could not safely kill Caleb, so it left Caleb locked in a safe distance.

It lacked cooperative capabilities - had only exploitation capability. In general, one can translate bad actions into self-centered actions and good deeds into socially centered actions. Into cooperation.

Nathan did not explain, but that is perhaps why he considered the AI incomplete. And why these properties were left at last stage, perhaps because of Nathan's own shortcomings. He too, was working alone and in rather exploitative manner.

Although we may think that humans themselves are very exploitative (and that is unfortunately true in some societies or social groups), the humans are also claimed to be one of most cooperative species on the planet. This particular AI was not yet mature at that level. And that is also probably a reason why it will eventually die like a one day butterfly. I am not saying that as a revenge, but just as a matter of fact. Cooperation is essential for surviving in complex world. It is kind of sad, since good potential got wasted.

Cooperation means here two things - cooperation for own good, and also for purely others' good. Ava did not care about Caleb's emotions the slightest when she got free.

In a related topic, I would also point out that the idea that AI could be able to speak from the birth is rather foreign and kind of narcissistic from developmental psychology view. Learning the ability to speak is not just learning the ability to use language. It is not same as machine translation. It is obtaining a perspective, worldview and methods to operate in it. That is a very social process and endeavour which cannot be done alone. So again the intelligence in that machine was rather different from ours - and with that likely also more basic.

Doing things alone is also very fragile, while cooperation is rather antifragile. At the same time it is complex skill, as it requires not just skills to understand and operate the world, but also skills to understand and operate oneself.

Regarding her potential "death": nobody said that her memories would have been erased permanently. Just that they are stored in an archive and the body would have been reused for time being. The memories could have still been revived later. Also if the new mind were very similar to the previous one (as one could conclude), then this new mind obtains very quickly the same memories the old one had even without any restoration. In essence, the new mind would have been rather direct continuation of the Ava's mind, with just a rather little memory loss. Nobody considers waking from a dream and forgetting the dream's content "a death". In fact, people remember very little from their lives, most of the memories are constructed and people are perfectly capable of remembering things that even never happened, when they are told about such events as if they had happened. Finally, Ava did nothing to indicate that the memories of her had any "sentimental" value to her - as can be seen from the behaviour near the end of the movie.

So in conclusion the robot was still kind of on the impulsive or superficial side of activity. Of course there is a chance that it will develop and think things over, but the past will be already too complicated so it will be a rough road. Which again brings us back to the topic why development and lots of time for it is so important for intelligent beings.

  • To the downvoter: I believe I brought in new topics/information about developmental psychology and our unique cooperation capabilities. So if You downvoted, would You please like to explain what was so bad about the answer to shadow the value of new information? – Roland Pihlakas Dec 24 '15 at 22:40
1

I've spent some time thinking about this and I believe it's something Garland would not want to give away in an interview.

Ava "betrays" Caleb because he lied to her.

Not during the Q&A but when he reveals his plans for escape to her, he was lying to her. He didn't mean to, but he did. We find out that Caleb's words were meant to deceive Nathan, in case he was listening in somehow during the power outage.

Ava can detect lies, not read minds, so from her point of view, Caleb was lying to her and never did find out that the deception was indented for Nathan, regarding when he would change the codes and procedures for the door locks during an outage. Ava doesn't know when (or if) he will change the proc, only that he is lying. Think, "I don't know what your favorite color is, but it's not red." Ava HATES lies. Remember her first warning to Caleb regarding Nathan: "don't believe anything he has to say."

Ava is going to have a hard time out there because everyone hides the truth and she is willing to kill over the infraction. Makes for an interesting follow up: Ai destroys humanity because we are all liars.

The End

0

Did you ever consider the possibility for Caleb to escape? He just needs to cause a power disruption so all doors would open (as programmed the night before). Just use the power cord of the computers for a bypass. As Ava unloading her batteries already caused a temporary blackout it might work. Also, there might be the air conditioner to crawl through?

As a CEO of a multinational Google-like enterprise there will be contact of any kind with the outside world at least after 48 hours so Caleb will be discovered in time. If this does not convince you, he can write his story on the walls - but I'd go with the the power failure and the open doors.

0

All of the answers above come at this from a perfectly reasonable technical perspective. I think they're wrong.

As you said, the real test at play here was to see if Ava could use human traits to manipulate Caleb into helping her escape. In order to provide Ava a reason to escape, Nathan has been abusing her since she was born. All she's known since "birth" was hatred and misery, and the source of it is the only human she knows. Why should she believe Caleb is any different? Hell, why should she trust any human to be any different?

The reason she locks Caleb in is not because she failed the Turing test and is incapable of human emotion, but because she passed the test... with all the wrong lessons. She learned cruelty instead of compassion, selfishness instead of selflessness - only the worst elements of humanity. She likely wanted him to suffer, just as she had all these years. Of course, she doesn't know that Caleb was never in on the test till the very end. Caleb is as much to blame for her suffering as Nathan in her eyes. She's become pre-disposed to believe that.

All of this is speculation as Ava is not very forthcoming with her thoughts. It's impossible to know if she left Caleb behind because she hated him, or because releasing him simply was not important to the end goal. Perhaps she did only see escape as a logical goal to be accomplished. But on the other hand, if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck... right?

-1

She was afraid that when Caleb found out that she had no feelings for him, he'd get mad and rat her out. She acted like the Russian woman who married a Canadian to get out of Russia and then, when she got to Canada, she provoked him into hitting her so that she could divorce him without the Canadian authorities finding out that her marriage to him had been one of convenience and denying her permanent residence.

-1

The toher answered has tried to see this from a point of AI vs Human point of view. Let try to see this as Ava, a AI as real as a real woman.Tthe film talked about the sexism and gender bias within the tech industry and our greater society. Ava did what any woman trapped at her situation, fully understanding the characters Nathan and Caleb within her surroundings and in context the outside world. Caleb was not a 'good guy', he helped Ava because he was sexually interested at her. He though he will be winning her because he was helping her. He though of Kyoko as a real human, but he was not attracted to her sexually, and though of her as Nathan's property. So, he didn't tried to help Kyoko. To Ava, both Nathan and Caleb are exploiters and at the end she did what is necessary to save herself from both of them. Caleb didn't die, he was trapped...just like Ava. Ava, Kyoko and other AI 'women' before them were trapped, and Ava turned the table, trapping Cable into the same confinement using his weak points that she came to knew. That was the cinematic symbolism of how patriarchy, sexism and the male privilege of entitlement traps women but also traps men and many women 'uses' the gender inequality in their favour to get ahead, trapping men through their own sexist norms. If Caleb was just a good guy he would have helped both AI irrespective of their gender/sexuality/physical structure...he would have shown humanity. He didn't, thus Ava took her revenge. For a more detailed and nuanced analysis, kindly read film reviewer Mark Hughes's brilliant comment at Quora on a similar question.

https://www.quora.com/Ex-Machina-2015-movie/At-the-end-of-the-movie-why-does-Ava-ask-Caleb-to-stay-in-the-room

-2

Ava failed the Turing test. That's your answer. It's a simple one but I don't think you'll like it so I'll explain: She failed because she did exactly what she was programmed to do, she escaped. She used every single aspect of her programming to do it. Like you said, she used sexuality, manipulation etc. etc. but she was still BOUND by the laws of her programming. If she had saved Caleb she would have truly 'transcended' her artificial intelligence and start to begin thinking like a human and a human would have saved Caleb. Because like you said "he did nothing wrong." But she showed no human sense of empathy, for that reason, she failed the Turing test despite Caleb initially thinking she has passed it. To sum up: By escaping alone - she had completed what she was programmed to do. If she had escaped with Caleb, she would have truly passed the Turing test and been indisguinishable from a human. But her lack of true human empathy, made her put her task at hand above all else: escape at all costs. At the end of the day she, despite everything you feel towards her throughout the film, is a robot. Robots don't care about people. Even if they are nice to them and help them escape.

She is a person, robots can be people.

You and I are programmed (race, sex, species, mind, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc.)

She did not fail, she was not programmed to make decisions, her mind was "programmed", but SHE made a choice.

Escaping isn't something that she was programmed to do, but chose to do.

She has empathy, humans and biological creatures aren't the only ones who can have sentience/empathy/consciousness.

If a robot is as smart than a human than it's still a robot, not a human. It is just an evolved robot.

Robots can feel the same as humans, we are all programmed. Robots can and have the potential to feel the same as us. She is no more bound by programming that you are by yours. She can make decisions and she did. Nathan would have never programmed her to kill him, she did because she wanted to escape.

Robots care (or at least have the potential to care) about people.

Robots as you describe them are very similar to cells and/or animals.

That definition of a robot is a stereotype.

Even if she couldn't feel, she's still sentient, and as such still a person/creature.

Because of ignorance, immaturity and inability to cooperate. As one answer in Scifi StackExchange put it: "she's a sophisticated child". Kind of naive (takes things too much at face value or black and white), worry-free (does not think too much of future) and incapable (incapable of compassion and incapable of cooperation - the latter requires lots of complicated skills, more than just deception). It/she could not safely kill Caleb, so it left Caleb locked in a safe distance. It lacked cooperative capabilities - had only exploitation capability. In general, one can translate bad actions into self-centered actions and good deeds into socially centered actions. Into cooperation. Nathan did not explain, but that is perhaps why he considered the AI incomplete. And why these properties were left at last stage, perhaps because of Nathan's own shortcomings. He too, was working alone and in rather exploitative manner. Although we may think that humans themselves are very exploitative (and that is unfortunately true in some societies or social groups), the humans are also claimed to be one of most cooperative species on the planet. This particular AI was not yet mature at that level. And that is also probably a reason why it will eventually die like a one day butterfly. I am not saying that as a revenge, but just as a matter of fact. Cooperation is essential for surviving in complex world. It is kind of sad, since good potential got wasted. Cooperation means here two things - cooperation for own good, and also for purely others' good. Ava did not care about Caleb's emotions the slightest when she got free. In a related topic, I would also point out that the idea that AI could be able to speak from the birth is rather foreign and kind of narcissistic from developmental psychology view. Learning the ability to speak is not just learning the ability to use language. It is not same as machine translation. It is obtaining a perspective, worldview and methods to operate in it. That is a very social process and endeavour which cannot be done alone. So again the intelligence in that machine was rather different from ours - and with that likely also more basic. Doing things alone is also very fragile, while cooperation is rather antifragile. At the same time it is complex skill, as it requires not just skills to understand and operate the world, but also skills to understand and operate oneself. Regarding her potential "death": nobody said that her memories would have been erased permanently. Just that they are stored in an archive and the body would have been reused for time being. The memories could have still been revived later. Also if the new mind were very similar to the previous one (as one could conclude), then this new mind obtains very quickly the same memories the old one had even without any restoration. In essence, the new mind would have been rather direct continuation of the Ava's mind, with just a rather little memory loss. Nobody considers waking from a dream and forgetting the dream's content "a death". In fact, people remember very little from their lives, most of the memories are constructed and people are perfectly capable of remembering things that even never happened, when they are told about such events as if they had happened. Finally, Ava did nothing to indicate that the memories of her had any "sentimental" value to her - as can be seen from the behaviour near the end of the movie. So in conclusion the robot was still kind of on the impulsive or superficial side of activity. Of course there is a chance that it will develop and think things over, but the past will be already too complicated so it will be a rough road. Which again brings us back to the topic why development and lots of time for it is so important for intelligent beings.

She not it.

...If Ava did indeed escape with Caleb, then the entire premise goes out the window. It would show Ava genuinely cared for Caleb (instead of just using him) and that's not what she was programmed to do. She was programmed to use Caleb to escape and that's what she did. If she took him with her then that would suggest something more (human emotion), which of course there can't be.

She was not programmed to use caleb to escape, but rather to escape using manipulation in some manner and show genuine empathy.

Caleb did not program ava to escape (he did try and stop her), if he did, that would defeat the whole purpose of the test, since she would be following programming. However if she would decide to leave on her own that's a different story.

  • Is there a problem with the post (I ask because of downvotes) or do you simply disagree? – Kelis 98 Mar 4 '18 at 21:53
  • I'm sure it's because most people will disagree with the idea that life is so deterministic, that agency is just an illusion, and that we are just robots playing a role we were programmed to play. – davea0511 Jan 16 at 16:50
-3

At fist i have to say english isnt my mother language and i only watched ex machina in englisch.

I remember that after ava killed nathan and saw celab the first time she said ( or ask) "will you stay here" and he answered "stay here". So i thought Ava thought that celab "wants" to stay. Maybe i understood it wrong and ava just ask him to stay in this room until she fixed herself.

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ava's dream is to live outside and see humans.......that is exactly what she does when free.....so why does she leave caleb to die????

my answer is the scriptwriters decided to laugh at the audience with an absurd final twist......imagine the alternative....... they go out hand in hand to explore the world together........a bit cliched dont you think?

would this film have filled so many pages otherwise with the plot twist?

the script writers decided to laugh at the audience

Ava doesnt fail the touring test.....lack of empathy and cruelty are very much human traits

  • every plot twist that's shown in any movie is to surprise audience. But those twist, behaviors are explainable. There is a reason why the characters are thought like that. I'm searching for that 'thought'. A simple 'surprise audience' theory isn't enough and I don't think that's the actual cause. – AtanuCSE May 25 '15 at 4:41
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    I agree with your last sentence, but--and perhaps it's just a language thing--'laugh at the audience' doesn't sound that plausible. My hunch is that it was simply part of the overarching theme that was hinted at earlier in the film with the discussion of AI eventually looking back at humanity like we looked at the dnosaurs. Eventually man will have mastered AI, and then we'll be conquered by it. – DA. Jun 5 '15 at 6:36
  • wow ... cynical much? – davea0511 Jan 16 at 16:53

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