Artificial Intelligence takes over the silver screen in Indian cinema: From Enthiran to OK Computer,
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a popular theme in Indian cinema over the past decade, with films like Enthiran, Anukul, Android Kunjapan, and OK Computer exploring the social, ethical, and philosophical implications of AI in human society.
Enthiran, released in 2010, was the first Indian film to feature AI as a central theme, with Tamil superstar Rajinikanth playing both the protagonist and the antagonist in the movie. The film not only had a message ahead of its time, but also tackled the issue of the growing prominence of AI in society. The robot named Chitti in the movie personified the dilemma of machines becoming increasingly intelligent, adaptive, and human-like, blurring the line between humans and machines.
Anukul, a short film based on Satyajit Ray's story, directed by Sujoy Ghosh, raises questions about the changing nature of work and the ethical and decision-making side of AI. It portrays how the introduction of intelligent machines can displace human labor and examines the social and political implications of AI.
Android Kunjapan version 5.25, released in 2019, explores the ability of machines to adapt to human needs and behavior, capturing the delicate desires, emotions, and behavioral aspects of human constructs that even other humans do not understand. The film depicts how the trans-individual nature of humans can restrict us to our biases, preferences, and emotions, whereas machines tend to match the wavelength of the multitude within which that person exists.
The most recent cinematic representation of AI in India is the Disney+ Hotstar VIP show OK Computer by Anand Gandhi. The series takes a philosophical dig at the societies of tomorrow, which would be dominated by AI. The series personifies different levels of consciousness in the artificial intelligent robots and explores different perspectives towards technology and its implications in society.
These films have succeeded in raising awareness about the growing prominence of AI and its impact on human society. They have also shown how AI can be portrayed in Indian cinema in a way that resonates with audiences and connects with popular culture. As technology continues to progress, AI will remain a ripe ground for human imagination to explore and represent in the form of art and cinema.