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[#PanicFest2023 Review] An AI Bot Battles Child Abusers in Sci-Fi Think Piece THE ARTIFICE GIRL

We’ve all had a lot more hands on experience with AI in the last year than we would have ever expected, and the general consensus is: AI Bad. Franklin Ritch’s The Artifice Girl, on the other hand, offers up a fascinating alternative theory where AI could be our secret weapon in the fight against child exploitation and abuse…and all the moral quandaries that come with that complicated reality.

In three self-contained acts spanning several decades, this sci-fi thought experiment interrogates the practical use and philosophical implications of a technology that is indistinguishable from human intelligence. In the first segment, we’re introduced to Cherry (played by Tatum Matthews) a fully digital 9-year-old girl that can interact in real-time. To date (in the story) this digitally crafted child, has been responsible for the arrest of hundreds of online predators.

 

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From there we zoom forward to each subsequent upgrade in her tech, until the line that separates Cherry from a living, breathing girl becomes is razor thin. From whether AI is capable of making textbook definition “decisions”, to what the nature of life & death even means to soulless machine, The Artifice Girl is a philosophical rabbit hole. The third act also features a brutally honest showdown between the pint-sized Tatum Matthews going to-toe-to in a verbal fistfight with a gruff, world-weary Lance Henriksen (Aliens).

Creating a life designed specifically for dealing with the worst parts of humanity sounds like a pretty raw deal for robots, but should we feel sympathy for circuits and wires and code just because it resembles something human? And even if the bot does grow to resent its purpose, wouldn’t it all be worthwhile if it meant thousands of children were saved from abuse?

 

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The Artifice Girl is a very talkie sci-fi. Know that up front. It’s all the better for it, but it’s also maybe not the movie to press play on at midnight on a Friday. What starts as a dark crime thriller slowly reveals itself to be a really well thought out dialogue driven low-fi science fiction tale of humanity. The dialogue is often a little overwrought and over worked but the core of every conversation is thought-provoking and thoroughly examined. If you wanna roll up your sleeves and dig deep into forthcoming singularity, you can’t do much better.

 

“What starts as a dark crime thriller slowly reveals itself to be a really well thought out dialogue driven low-fi science fiction tale of humanity.”

 

Franklin Ritch’s The Artifice Girl, from Paper Street Pictures, was an official selection of Panic Fest 2023 and will be hitting your local theatre and VOD platforms soon. Click HERE to follow our continued coverage of the festival, and be sure to tell us if you’re ready to embrace the singularity over on Twitter or in the Nightmare on Film Street Discord!

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[#PanicFest2023 Review] An AI Bot Battles Child Abusers in Sci-Fi Think Piece THE ARTIFICE GIRL
TL;DR
What starts as a dark crime thriller slowly reveals itself to be a really well thought out dialogue driven low-fi science fiction tale of humanity. The dialogue is often a little overwrought and over worked but the core of every conversation is thought-provoking and thoroughly examined. If you wanna roll up your sleeves and dig deep into forthcoming singularity, you can't do much better.
Story
85
Performances
80
Cinematography
80
Dialogue
73
80
SCORE
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