It’s hard to figure out who the villain is in Alex Garland’s sexy robot thriller Ex Machina. That’s what makes the film so, well, thrilling. But as a new featurette called from the studio called “God Complex” makes painfully clear, the real villain is the one you can’t see, the one that’s ever-present, always watching, and terribly Orwellian. It’s data.
This isn’t a spoiler, really. (If you’re looking for spoilers, here’s a post chockfull of them.) When you think about it, an artificial intelligence would work best if it had access to an unlimited amount of data. And guess what—we surrender that data to countless devices every second of every day. Weirdly, it’s not so scary that companies like Google gobble up so much deeply personal data about us. It’s insane that we give it away so readily and, often, naively.