The Most Interesting AI in Movies Based on Books and Short Stories [Guest Post from Avatier]January 17, 2020
Today’s guest post is from Avatier, the Identity and Access Management blog.
The Most Interesting AI in Movies Based on Books and Short Stories
Books have always had a significant impact on sci-fi; before the television was even invented, sci-fi writers were dreaming of a scientifically advanced future. Even many beloved movies have their roots in books. These are just some of the most prominent AI in movies that actually stemmed from books.
HAL 9000 – 2001: A Space Odyssey (“The Sentinel” by Arthur C. Clarke)
Though this may very well be one of the more prominent AI in the list, it’s also one of the ones with weaker ties. Arthur Clarke worked on the movie alongside Steven Spielberg, and the ideas in The Sentinel more generally influenced the final script, rather than really creating the film’s basis.
Gort – The Day the Earth Stood Still (“Farewell to the Master” by Harry Bates)
Though The Day the Earth Stood Still definitely pulls a lot of its themes from “Farewell to the Master,” Gort interestingly has some of the weaker ties. In the original short story, his name is actually Gnut, an “eight-foot-tall giant man made of greenish metal.”
VIKI – I, Robot (“I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov)
“I, Robot” is actually a fixup novel, which is one that publishes previously-unrelated short stories into a single novel, adding additional details to tie them all together. Though its relation to the movie is fairly limited, the movie does lean heavily on Asimov’s groundbreaking concept of the Three Laws to create its backstory.
David – A.I. (“Supertoys Last All Summer Long” by Brian Aldiss)
A.I. is a movie that eventually tells a touching, if bittersweet, tale of loneliness and an AI’s ability to love. The short story, however, actually has a much darker ending, telling more of a story of jealousy and artificiality. A.I. diverges from this story after the first act, eventually giving it more of an uplifting ending.
Connecticut Wives – The Stepford Wives (“The Stepford Wives” by Ira Levin)
The Stepford Wives is a movie that actually stays fairly true to its origins. The original was a satirical thriller, intentionally shedding light on misogyny while also touching on sci-fi concepts. The original 1975 film also takes the form of a thriller, adapting it fairly faithfully, while its 2004 remake adds a touch of comedy instead.
Spider Robots – Minority Report (“The Minority Report” by Philip K. Dick)
These robots work essentially as retrieval for the police force in the movie, making them less true AI and more simply a way to perform more work in less time. The backdrop of the movie is essentially the same, with the precognitive entity “Precrime” existing in both stories, but the movie presents almost everyone as being much more intelligent and handsome than the story.
Replicants – Blade Runner (“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick)
In general, Blade Runner tends to stick pretty closely to the novel when it comes to its major plot points. The film and book both revolve around a bounty hunter who kills androids of a brand new hyper-intelligent model. However, Blade Runner removes an integral worldbuilding aspect: the concept of animals being all but extinct and therefore highly prized.
Books really have an impact on general culture. You may not even have known that some of these movies were based on books, and some of the movies have only limited ties to the books they drew inspiration from. Still, these books made an impact not only on these movies, but oftentimes on thousands of people who read them, and that’s something to admire.