If you get a chance to become the “God” of all living beings, you can dominate the world, make the world bow your head and become a minister, and everything in the world will treat you as a god. How would you choose? So if the price of becoming a “god” is to help the system usher in the era of artificial intelligence leading humans, what choice would you make?
Fortunately, you don’t have to face such a critical decision. But in the animation work “The World”, Li Wei, an intern in an artificial intelligence research and development organization, faced the life and death compulsion of the “cardinal”, the center of the artificial intelligence system, she could choose to become a “god” above ten a thousand people; otherwise, she can also raise the electromagnetic pulse head in her hand and completely destroy the system, but the moment the tip of the pen falls, she will also become a vegetable…
In despair, where can we find life? As one of the most played animations in the “Capsule Project” series initiated by Bilibili (hereinafter referred to as “Bilibili”), “Jie” takes less than 10 minutes to describe the world’s artificial intelligence experiment in the future and discuss the boundary between technological. human intelligence and morality.
“In fact, in domestic science fiction film and television work, there are relatively few themes that discuss human nature. Therefore, this has become a direction for us to create.” In an exclusive interview with Cover News, director Zhu spoke Xiaopeng for the creation of works, pieces behind her. Although it’s an animated short of less than 10 minutes, it took him and his team a 14 month creative cycle, which shows the huge workload.
In the central space of the huge and empty artificial intelligence system, when the intern Li Wei faced the pressure of the system, the central “cardinal” of the system was like a block of movable type printing, constantly changing gestures in the air and combining into different shapes. The character glyphs ask the heroine to ask questions, and together with the background music with a strong sense of urgency, the suffocation and tension created by the work comes from sight and hearing, which stimulating the audience’s nerve endings wildly.
If you look closely, you will see that there are more marks unique to eastern culture in the space created in the picture. For example, when the female protagonist Li Wei’s thoughts were in chaos, the hexagrams of the “Book of Changes” kept flashing in her mind; the several “Jinwu” drones around her were like the eyes of a monitor. The frozen camera is exposed in the spiral transition; the electromagnetic pulse head that can destroy the artificial intelligence system in the heroine’s hand, the hairpin looks like an ancient women’s hairpin … and so on, the details are too numerous to count.
“When we first conceived the work, we made up our minds to follow the Chinese style.” Zhu Xiaopeng said that as a sci-fi animation that discusses artificial intelligence, it is easy to enter the path of homogeneity and fall into the same path. like the previous work, recreated. “I remember, during the discussion, one of our main creators, Chen Zhuan, inadvertently said: ‘What we want to do is to make science fiction that belongs to China’.” So, he founded making science fiction with Chinese style the creative style of the work “Jie” and the way to go.
Drone “Golden Go”
It seems that “Being Chinese science fiction” is a lofty slogan, but when it falls into the work, it would be very far if it is just a visual pile of traditional Chinese elements. Zhu Xiaopeng also mentioned this point. He and the team were reluctant to show only some “Chinese style” elements in the visual design. “I believe it is necessary to integrate the thought of traditional Chinese culture from the core of the story of the work. “After thinking about it, Zhu Xiaopeng thought of “Book of Changes”.
“First of all, the sixty-four hexagrams in the “Book of Changes” actually use binary. Today’s computer language also uses binary.” Second, Zhu Xiaopeng said that in a discussion on the development of artificial intelligence technology and morality human Among the science fiction works, the philosophical thought brought by the ancient Chinese Taoist culture seems to be the most suitable. “Taoist culture follows everything and advocates obedience to nature. As part of nature, does the artificial intelligence created by humans belong to ‘nature’? We also raise such a question.” It also corresponds to Laozi’s philosophical thought that “Tao gives birth to one, one gives birth to two, two gives birth to three, and three gives birth to all things.”
Referring to the text deformation process of movable type printing
There is also the “Jinwu” drone that appears several times in the film, which brings a strong sense of oppression and surveillance to the heroine. Its design also refers to the tenon-and-mortise structure in architecture traditional Chinese. And there is no human voice in the whole film, but the text built with bricks to convey the information of artificial intelligence system, and the process of deformation of these bricks is constant and assemble into a text in the sky inspired by the movable type printing plate. , and is also used for referencing the Shape of the Luban lock. “I also bought a set of more than fifty Luban locks on purpose to study for friends of the team, just to make the effect of the deformed combination of bricks.”
Not only that, there are many details that cannot be ignored in the film, and there are also hidden genes of unique oriental culture: the heroine’s name is “Li Wei”, and Li’s surname is also the surname of Lao Tzu, the founder of Taoism , “Wei Wei” “It is one of the heavenly stems and earthly branches, which arose from the observation of celestial phenomena in ancient China…” These are the ‘thoughtful thoughts’ buried in the works when we created them , and we didn’t expect them to be seen and interpreted by the audience coming out.”
An experiment around the ethical boundaries of AI
“The World” poster.
“It’s more important to throw the issue out there”
Is it to become “god”, or to prevent artificial intelligence from “dominating” the human world? At the critical moment, Li Wei’s heart was tangled several times, trying to accuse the system of “you have no right to choose humans”, and then he raised the electromagnetic pulse head in his hand and stabbed the center of the system in fierce, destroying the system that wanted to overtake it Artificial intelligence Systems on top of humans…
However, when the picture went dark, Li Wei was lying in a pile of mechanical ruins. As the camera zoomed out, her broken face was revealed in front of the audience: there were messy machines, circuits, chips, etc. her body Then, the subtitles of “Experimental data samples self-destruct” appeared in the air, the picture suddenly stopped, and the subtitles at the end of the film floated up… Saw this , an eerie feeling of horror strikes my heart, and netizens will suddenly realize: “It turns out that Li Wei is an artificial intelligence robot.”
“In fact, the contents of the previous paragraphs are predictive, only for the final reversal.” Zhu Xiaopeng said that at the last moment of the story, the audience will have a feeling of “horror” and “very scary”, which is also The emotions they want the audience to feel are extreme emotions about “thorn” and “numbness”.
An artificial intelligence robot chooses to destroy itself and the system just to save mankind; while human engineers create artificial intelligence, but virtualize a scene to test if the robot has human nature… The issues raised by this work are similar to As the title of the film “The World” shows, explores the boundary between technological intelligence and human morality.
“The heroine is revealed to be a robot at the end of the film, but she should be the most human and human-like character in the entire film. Such a ‘high contrast’ can be synonymous with the final ‘big twist’.” Zhu Xiaopeng explained that if it wasn’t for seeing the heroine lying in mechanical ruin, it might be difficult for the audience to believe the heroine’s robot identity. Because at the beginning of the character design, Li Wei was undoubtedly the most “human” character, in terms of appearance and performance of the characters in the play.
In the moving train, when I see a child in the seat, I wink and tease; I will feel ashamed because of the marks on my face; I will subconsciously hide my identity as an “internal worker” when I see the badge of someone else’s “engineer”; Under the coercion of life and death by the artificial intelligence system, choose to sacrifice yourself to save mankind… In a robot, there will be complex emotions such as inferiority complex, fear, collapse, and even higher human emotional expressions as the final sacrifice , so When she turned into a pile of frozen copper and iron, she gave people a frightening feeling.
A plum blossom mark on Li Wei’s face
“When we first designed the main character, we chose the identity of women. I believe that women are more likely to have the quality of sacrificing for love.” On Li Wei’s face, the team specially designed the “Plum Blossom” Scar, too. this is the imprint of his robot. “Plum blossoms are also chosen because, in the image of traditional Chinese culture, plum blossoms represent noble and strong qualities.” Zhu Xiaopeng mentioned more details in character design.
So, where is the moral “boundary” of artificial intelligence? When a robot chooses to sacrifice itself to “save” humans, does its “humanity” lead it to destruction? During the interview, when the reporter asked what kind of core work “Jie” wanted to convey to the audience, Zhu Xiaopeng smiled lightly and did not give a direct answer.
“When a work comes out, each audience may get a different answer from it. For the creator, there will be interpretations from the creator’s point of view, but what is more important are the issues raised by the work.” Zhu Xiaopeng said. , as far as 100 If one of the viewers understands it, he thinks it is a success, not to mention that on the broadcast stage, many netizens have seen the details of the team hidden in the film . Especially the presentation of traditional culture in the works, the audience was surprised to see the alternative presentation of eastern aesthetics in science fiction animation works.
“There is a lot of inexhaustible wisdom in traditional culture, which is the direction I want to create at this time as well. I may spend my whole life digging, but I cannot finish creating it. “Zhu Xiaopeng said.Return to Sohu, see more