Can AI become a terrorist? What is the “Atlas” movie about?

Atlas is a sci-fi movie that has recently been released. It takes place in the future, when people have learned to quickly travel interstellar distances. The main character, played by Jennifer Lopez, is tracking down a terrorist robot with whom she is connected by memories of the past.

Фільм «Атлас»

The movie Atlas

A movie about robots

On May 23, the fantastic movie Atlas was released. The story takes place in a not clearly defined, but quite distant future. Mankind has managed to create jet engines that are fundamentally different from modern ones, mastered FTL flight, and, most importantly, created a full-fledged artificial intelligence and humanoid robots based on it.

The plot of the movie revolves around the latter. 28 years before the events described in the film, one of the AIs, named Harlan, decided to kill all humans and began to rewrite the codes of other devices and create an army from them. The casualties quickly reached seven figures, but humanity united and managed to defeat the machines.

Harlan escaped from Earth, hiding for decades, and finally his hideout was found. A special forces unit equipped with combat robots was sent to capture him. A female agent named Atlas, whose past is directly related to Harlan, flies with them to a distant planet. Her role is played by Jennifer Lopez.

The main events of the movie take place on an alien planet. In fact, this movie is an action movie with elements of drama. It has a lot of special effects and action.

The color of the artificial intelligence icon in the movie is very pleasing for a Ukrainian eye. Source:

Communication with artificial intelligence

The theme of artificial intelligence learning from humans in the process of communication is certainly a strong point of Atlas. Previously, this topic was not often featured in movies. However, the development of linguistic models like ChatGPT has made it popular. And screenwriters have managed to play it well.

Because if artificial intelligence training is about communicating with people, then a person who doesn’t trust robots will have problems communicating with people and vice versa. This is exactly the situation of Lopez’s character, and this is despite the fact that people around her did not give up on creating artificial intelligence even after the war with it.

The latter seems a bit strange, but in practice, this is usually the case. No matter how many people were frightened by the atomic bomb, countries never gave it up. If a technology is useful, it will be used despite all the dangers.

Кадр з фільму
A still from the movie

That’s why the most dramatic moments in the film are associated with the attempts of the agent Atlas, who does not trust either humans or machines, to synchronize with the AI of the combat robot in whose cockpit she is staying for almost the entire plot.

Problems with the movie

With all of the above, it is impossible not to see that the movie has big problems. Its plot, stretching for almost two hours, is too simple and ill-conceived. At first, the special forces don’t want to take the antisocial analyst with them, but then they change their minds. It is clear from the beginning that the mission itself is a trap, but the heroes fall into it — just because somehow Atlas has to find herself on a hostile alien planet alone with artificial intelligence.

As for the actual space component of the movie, it’s absolutely terrible. The fact that not so cosmic-looking earthlings can move extremely fast for hundreds and thousands of light years is not explained.

Головну роль у фільмі виконує Дженіфер Лопес
The main role in the movie is played by Jennifer Lopez. Source:

From what has been shown, it seems that just beyond the atmosphere of our planet, which is hidden from the outside world behind a protective screen, there are distant, distant galaxies that are literally one step away from us, but no one is in a hurry to inhabit them. Instead, the special forces fly there as if they were going to a criminal neighborhood on the outskirts of the city.

In an attempt to show the planet as alien and inhospitable to humans as possible, the filmmakers resorted to nonsense. If they really needed to recreate an atmosphere in which electrical phenomena occur much more frequently than on Earth, this can be achieved by its composition and characteristics of the core alone. A bunch of asteroids in orbit is not needed for this.

And the idea around which the whole plot revolves is realized in the most ridiculous way possible. The topic of artificial intelligence losing the war to humans and escaping into space is extremely interesting. It could have become the basis for a great and unique concept of the world.

Кадр з фільму
A still from the movie

Harlan in Atlas acts as stupidly as possible. Instead of building his civilisation somewhere far away from Earth and returning in a few centuries with an army that humans will not be able to resist, he simply steals a bomb and the codes to overcome the protective screen.

In general, the film is worth watching at least to see the exoskeleton robots. Otherwise, it gives the impression of something that was attempted to be created by greatly saving resources — especially intellectual ones.