They Are Among Us!

To be totally honest I have never made a gif before. I use them all the time in my txt and message groups, I just never took the time to make some myself. For my second assignment this week I decided to do Say It Like The Peanut Butter.

The goal of this assignment is to make an animated gif from your favorite/least favorite movie capturing the essence of a key scene. Make sure the movement is minimal but essential.

To stick with the theme of AI, I decided to rip from a week one example and do one of my top favorites, Alien. Originally, I went with The Thing, but it’s hard to have an AI connection to a mutating biomass changeling. So, in a stretch, I connected the AI theme and scene in Alien to a similar scene from The Thing, and that is having an unknown entity living among you.

In Alien, the scene I am referencing, is when Ripley discovers Weyland Corp has secretly ordered Ash to return with the alien and to consider the crew expendable. Outraged by this, she confronts Ash, who tries to choke her to death. Parker intervenes and clubs Ash, knocking his head loose and revealing him as anĀ android. With this movie being in the future, and the complex interactions the crew has with Ash, we can assume he has an advanced AI to function in this capacity. This was a complete unknown to the crew and the audience until this exact moment. It then got the crew and audience feeling like nobody could be trusted.

I relate this scene to our theme of AI not only to the literal android reveal, but to how new AI tools like chat GPT were suddenly introduced and the reaction it caused. By this I mean, when it was revealed that this was happening, it sent the whole school system into panic. It sent artists into panic when the art generators were becoming more prevalent. It made people start to distrust each other and technology. I think the flings this scene evoke are very similar to that.

Here is the quick reveal:

Now just because I want to relate this to The Thing, it reminds me of the blood test scene. Unlike in Alien, in The Thing, they already know there is a monster among them, they just don’t know who it is. The creature has become very adept at imitating people both visually and by actions. They develop a test that will identify the imposter. They will heat up a piece of wire and stick it into petri dishes of their blood. The creature’s blood will react because the blood is an extension of the organism. They test one by one until Kurt Russel puts it in a dish and the blood jumps out, revealing the monster. Again, I loosely, and I mean loosely, relate this to alien because they have imposters among them.

Here is the scene:

What do these scenes evoke? A sense of unknowing or lack of control in your environment. They make you feel like something is among you that doesn’t follow your rules or your morals and is drastically different than you, but also really similar. I think this is the same feeling people get when they talk about AI. They are afraid that they won’t know if an AI wrote a paper, or if an AI is speaking to them on the other end of the phone. The uncertainty of who or what among you is an AI or isn’t, is a scary thought. I think these scenes capture those same feelings perfectly.

4 thoughts on “They Are Among Us!”

  1. I really liked your movie choice! I enjoyed watching this movie for my AI class a couple semesters ago so I was pretty familiar with the scenes that you chose for the movies. I like your analysis and explanation as well for your work!

    1. Thank you! These are definitely in my top five for sci-fi horror. Now only if the class was about black holes and I could do something on event horizon…

  2. I have no idea how I ended up here, but I thought this post was fantastic. I have no idea who you are, but if you aren’t already, congratulations on becoming a renowned blogger. Cheers!

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