WTF Happened to A.I. Artificial Intelligence?

In this super-sized edition of WTF Happened to this Movie, we take a look back at Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence.

When Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence came out in 2001, the term A.I. was so unfamiliar to the public that they had to define what it was right there in the title. How the times have changed! Nowadays, the term A.I. is on the tips of everyone’s tongues, with a mixture of excitement and unease about how the massive leap in technology seen in apps like Chat GPT and more will change the world around us. It’s a huge sticking point in the ongoing SAG/AFTRA/WGA strikes.

Now is a great time to look back at Steven Spielberg’s prescient fable about a robot child named David (Haley Joel Osment) who is adopted by a bereaved family, only to eventually be discarded and forced to roam the future with another robot companion, Jude Law’s Gigolo Joe. The movie was Steven Spielberg’s tribute to one of his most significant influences, Stanley Kubrick, who died a few years before this was made. Kubrick initially intended to direct the film in the seventies and eighties, only for the it to get caught up in development hell due to the era’s limited technology. He eventually passed the reigns to Spielberg, intending to collaborate with him. The finished film adheres pretty closely to the original treatment commissioned and developed by Kubrick, but it is Spielbergian in a lot of ways too.

In this super-sized edition of WTF Happened to this Movie, we dig into the movie’s lengthy development, making and eventual release and how it fares in a world where suddenly the movie’s concept isn’t as fanciful as it once was. What do you think of Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence? Let us know in the comments.

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