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来源:眼花耳熱網编辑:熱點时间:2024-07-15 17:28:45

Artificial intelligence is everywhere these days, and Netflix's new sci-fi epic Atlasknows it. Directed by Brad Peyton (San Andreas, Rampage), the film stars Jennifer Lopez as Atlas Shepherd, a woman on a quest to take down an evil artificial intelligence unit that's caused countless human deaths. 

In a distant future in which humanity is on the brink of destruction, Atlas decides to fight fire with fire. And ironically, it'll take an AI expert like her to give Earth a fighting chance. That’s a bleak setup, but Atlas ends on a surprisingly upbeat note considering the overwhelming doom and gloom surrounding AI. 

However, Atlas's ending reflects our own complicated relationship with AI. Let's get into it.  

What's Atlasabout?

Simu Liu as Harlan in AtlasCredit: Netflix

In the distant future, AI has become so advanced that they’ve become indistinguishable from real people. (Think Blade Runner.) A faction led by the world's first AI terrorist, Harlan (Simu Liu), is hellbent on killing humans, ensuring AI supremacy. For 28 years following a devastating attack, Harlan's been hiding out off planet. But with his return imminent, all of humanity is at risk. 

For Atlas Shepherd (Lopez), the impact of AI terrorism is extremely personal. See, her mother was responsible for the creation of Harlan, and he wound up killing her. So, Atlas harbors an intense hatred for AI, which hurts her reputation as a scientist in the field of artificial intelligence. However, her expertise in artificial intelligence can't be beat. So, when volunteers are needed to take on Harlan, with the help of a neural link to an AI that gives it total access to the human user's brain, Atlas is among those chosen. 

After a deadly attack leaves all her colleagues dead, Atlas is alone on an enemy planet filled with hostile AI. Her only ally is her massive mech suit (called an ARC) named Smith, who has access to her brain — and eventually wins her heart.

 What happens in Atlas's ending?

Jennifer Lopez as Atlas Shepherd.Credit: Netflix

On their quest, Atlas and Smith work together and form quite an unlikely bond, eventually defeating Harlan. Before she finally terminates Harlan and puts her demons at bay, Harlan issues Atlas a chilling reminder: She was only able to defeat him only with help from another AI.

"You're right," Atlas agrees. "But Smith was the better version of you."

With the last word, Atlas pulls out Harlan’s CPU — so it can be researched — ending his life and completing her mission. Smith, tragically, has sustained too much damage in the battle and won't survive. Atlas pours her heart out to a dying Smith, confessing, "The truth is, I don't actually like anybody. People always disappoint. But not you. I like you." 

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This signals a massive change in Atlas, whose extreme aversion to AI has been altered by what she and Smith have been through. That leads to this emotional exchange:

"Thank you for trusting me," Smith says.

"Thank you for keeping me safe," Atlas responds.

Mind you, Smith cannot express emotions, but Atlas certainly can. Tears stream down her face as she holds onto the giant mechanical husk Smith was operating. But the sorrow can't last long, because just as she completes her mission, a rescue vehicle arrives just in time and brings Atlas back to Earth.  

In the film's final sequence set some time later, Atlas is back to work with a new ARC mech suit. While she was initially wildly hesitant about using a neural link, she doesn't hesitate to connect with a brand-new AI this time. Atlas embraces artificial intelligence, leaving her fears behind on the planet where she killed Harlan. Except Atlas isn't linking up with a new AI. In a twist, Smith has been uploaded to the new ARC, and all his memories of Atlas remain. Atlas begins to tear up with joy, the score swelling with emotion as the film ends.

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This, put simply, is wild. Atlas caring about Smith makes sense. They've been through hell – you know, landing on an alien planet where everyone is trying to kill you – and survived, because they trusted each other. But here's the thing: Every single thing that tried to kill Atlas on the foreign planet isartificial intelligence. Just because one AI saved you doesn't mean your lifetime of hating AI would disappear into thin air. 

So, what does Atlas have to say about AI?

Is AtlasNetflix's attempt at pro-AI propaganda? 

A still from the movie "Atlas."Credit: Netflix

Just last year, Netflix's Black Mirrorhit audiences hard with the standout episode "Joan is Awful,"which explored AI's threat to privacy. Yet Netflix doesn't seem especially interested in heeding that warning, jumping headfirst into shows and films that look at AI in a far more positive light. Is Atlastesting the waters to see how people respond to AI being portrayed in such a positive light — arguing that it's an essential part of our lives we can't do without?

It’s no secret that the entertainment industry has a rocky relationship with artificial intelligence. People are scared of losing their jobs to AI, and those fears seem to be increasingly justified: Secret Invasionand Late Night With the Devilhave been embroiled in controversy for using AI artwork. Viewers have criticized Netflix and director Jenny Popplewell for seemingly using AI-generated photos in the true crime documentary What Jennifer Did. Then, in the reality series The Circle, Netflix enlisted an AI contestant to participate in the competition against human contestants. While Netflix didn't produce Atlas, it is distributing it. The streamer is clearly interested in exploring the ways AI can be integrated into its programming, both thematically and behind the scenes.  

Movies have been warning us about our relationship with technology for a long time. The Terminator, Oblivion, and I, Robotare just a few examples of sci-fi movies that explore a world where artificially created intelligence dominates, threatening to vanquish humanity for good. Those films often end with a glorious victory over the AI, celebrating the will of humanity. When times are tough, we will persevere. But the ending of Atlassuggests something far more worrying — that once AI becomes integrated into our lives, there's simply no stopping it. If you "kill" it, it will come back, andwe'll be ultimately grateful for it. That sounds like a certain harbinger for the end times, but Atlasseems to think it's a happy ending. 

Atlas is now streaming on Netflix.



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