What can Ex_Machina teach us about Web Development?

Ex_Machina is a British science fiction thriller that tells the story of a programmer, Caleb - who is invited by Nathan, the CEO of the company he works for, to administer the Turing Test of Nathan's secret Android creations with an exceptional AI. The Turing Test is a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human.

But what can the movie teach us about Web Development?

Ex_Machina, right from the introduction of Ava, the AI Android - grips you. The potentiality of a machine able to act so life-like and so human. After watching the movie - you just wish there was more of Caleb and Ava communicating. But that's besides the point. Ava is an AI who acts like any other human being. A little bit witty, questionable, smart - but not in the way a robot is programmed to be. If it wasn't for the fact that she had no skin - you'd never have known she was an Android.

We as a species are constantly trying to overcome boundaries, we're constantly trying to make the next best thing. Ex_Machina is not only a great science fiction movie, it's an insight as to what we could potentially be looking at in the next couple of generations. We're so close to it in fact, that we could be seeing these human-like machines in the media in as little as 10-20 years. And when you do, in 10-20 years - you can come back here and say, "Yeah... Rob ***did*** say that!"

So - machines, AI... why? Well - why not? There are a number applications for intelligent machines in our lives, but the primary idea of the movie Ex_Machina, is that Nathan - the CEO who designed and built Ava, is that, you can make something that goes far beyond it's intended purpose. And that idea can be applied to anything.

It can especially be applied to Web Development. People are so tied up in the 1990's, when if you wanted to have your computer do something; you had to buy a disc, install the program - then run it.

With the web however, none of that is necessary. The web can literally do everything a program from a disc can - and more. Nobody want's to have to sit and install a program to keep a track of employees in the business, or manage their accounts, or keep their health and safety policy up to date - believe it or not, there are web applications out there that do this for you. Even notepads... why are we still chopping trees down to make paper, when everyone and their mother has access to apps and websites that let you make notes?

Ex_Machina teaches us to excel with software. Make more of the intended purpose of something. Go beyond your limits. A machine can think - and do it like a human too (and in most circumstances, better than one!) It teaches us that the software in which runs it, is beautiful. It teaches us to respect the program, nurture it - be amazed by it and to help it grow.

The next time you sit down at your desk and think - "Maybe we should look at a new website..." - think about what you might want to make it do. Ways you can not only make it work for your visitors, but work for your employees. Then come and see me; because in the cheesiest way possible - I'm your Nathan.

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