The master piece fairy tale
for the man machine age
is definitely Spielberg's
A.I. movie. Of course it is
Hollywood but still a
emotionally moving, and
mentally arousing modern fairy tale about the quest of a little, unloved robot boy programmed to love its owner. AI will get you to think about the meaning of life at the dawn of artificial intelligence, as it explores our emotions deep down to its core. Home is where the heart is.
ML Von Franz
Once upon a time, the world was dominated by machines. M0U-1 was king, governing with implacable logic over the great council. The latter was comprised of A2Z-1, the prince of science in charge of research and development, R2P-1, the prince of operations managing natural resources and production, and CO2-1, the prince of biology responsible for all the organic life.
The first two prince-machines were very efficient and pride themselves for their highly developed computing powers. They were, of course, very disdainful of their fellow biology prince, a ultra-sensitive, almost emotional machine, loaded with irrational programs, skilled at handling humans.
One would think that in a world based on unbreakable logic, peace and wisdom would spread over expanding wealth. And, in a sense, it was. Artificial intelligence was developing at exponential speed. Machines were more and more efficient at recycling natural resources. Smart quotas managed the right population of humans, animals and vegetal to sustain the organic capital.
Still, the king knew that something was amiss, that all the growth in the world was sterile, that all the knowledge gained was pointless. What formulas were all these calculations and optimizations supposed to solve?
The king was becoming weaker and weaker as more and more of his computing resources were scrambling to search for something that was escaping him desperately. With his overloaded circuits, he knew that he was becoming obsolete and inefficient.
One day, he decided it was time to transmit the quest, if quest it was, to another program that may offer a different perspective on the world leadership. But he didn’t know which one of his council princes should inherit the kingdom after him, so he said to them, “After the completion of three tasks, I will decide who deserve to be king.”
“Go forth, and the one of you who brings me the best symbols of life, he shall be king after me” The king dispatched 3 drones to randomly selected locations. Each drone was then to be remotely controlled by one of the princes to retrieve their symbol and bring them back to the king’s research facility for evaluation.
A2Z-1’s drone flew to the east, on the seashore, R2P-1’s went west, near the coal mines, while CO2-1’s drone flew straight and landed on top of the nearby remains of a tower from a collapsed castle in the center of a deserted human city.
CO2-1’s drone hovered there for a while, as his operator was undecided about what to do next. Then, noticing a door, he instructed the drone to enter and go down the steps inside. Down it went, deeper and deeper, until it reached the fortified gate of a dark dungeon.
The drone knocked on it, upon which a wicked witch appeared on the other side. After some brief insults, the witch explained that she had been outcast by humans afraid of her magical powers to give life to objects and transform living things. Through the drone, CO2-1 asked her whether she could help him since his was actually looking for the symbol of life. With a wicked laugh, she gave him a magical carpet.
The king examined the objects brought back by his 3 princes. R2P-1 explained he had come back from the coal mines with an atom of carbon, as without carbon there would be no organic life. “Very good symbol indeed,” said the king, before moving to the next find. “A drop of water from the ocean, as without water, life would not start,” said A2Z-1. “So true,” said the king. Then he stopped in front of the magical carpet and stayed there, mesmerized by the meandering patterns, repeating up and down and constantly changing around. Finally he said, “I can now see the great mystery of life, so fragile yet so resilient, so repetitive yet so spontaneous, so blessed yet so doomed. It is only right that CO2-1 be the first task winner.”
But it was already time for the second assignment. “He who can explain life purpose is worthy to inherit the kingdom,” said the king before sending off the three princes.
CO2-1’s drone went back to the witch and told her about the next riddle. “Of course, who would not want to understand life purpose,” said the witch, “but life has as many meanings as living entities. Take this magic golden ring, it will open the eyes of your king to the true secrets of life.” With the witch’s evil laugh still resonating, the drone flew away, back to the king’s apartments.
“I read all the books about what is the meaning of life. I found the answer in one of them*, and the answer is 42,” said A2Z-1, but the king was not satisfied with this numerical revelation. “Power is the main principle of life, as the more power you have, the longer you can survive,” was the mechanical answer from R2P-1. Again, the king was not convinced by the materialistic wisdom. When CO2-1 showed him the bewitched ring, the king was once again mesmerized, this time by the fast spinning hoop. Finally he said, “I can now understand life, its unity in diversity, its evolution in revolutions, its infinity in mortality, its incorruptibility in fertility. It is only right that CO2-1 be the winner of the second contest.”
And finally, the third challenge was called by the king, “He who can generate a spark of life shall inherit the kingdom.”
Once more, the drone of CO2-1 was back in the dungeon of the foul witch. “What would you do with a spark of life?” asked the witch. CO2-1 thought about it for a while, and then answered dreamily, “Nothing. Nothing but love this newborn life, nurture it, and watch it grow freely. And maybe one day, we could become friends and soul mates, learning to respect and give back to each other. Can you do such magic?” Touched by such charming sincerity and despair, the witch smiled candidly for the first time and transfigured into the most beautiful and forlorn princess. “Yes, I can but the magic only works with pure spirits. I was waiting for you. Are you ready?” asked the witch-princess for the last time. Understanding the call, the machine-prince replied with a simple loving and trusting, “Yes.”
Then it happened, slowly and quickly at the same time. Under the magic force, CO2-1 apparatus lifted in the sky above the castle ruins and rearrange into a perfect sphere. The spirit of the witch-princess drifted away from its earthly body and joined in the center of the sphere. Under the suggestion of its new core, CO2-1’s machinery immediately started to create threads and bounds to feed and regenerate the witch-princess soul. When the fusion of the woman-machine was fully completed, the sphere spread a blazing light and started to rise in the sky, where it became the brightest star. The machine prince and the human princess lived happily ever after, reigning forever on the man-machine kingdom. All livings and machines looked to the bright star for inspiration and direction for the greater good of society.
“Nature is a machine. The family is a machine.
The life cycle is like a machine" Ray Dalio
* The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
"Fairy tales to me are never happy, sweet stories. They're moral stories about overcoming the dark side and the bad" Joe Wright
The Ex_Machina music
is a crucial element
to set the character
of Ava, the robot with short story
Composers Ben Salisbury and Geoff Barrow used chimes reminiscent of an child’s innocent nursery rhyme to introduce the computer age fairy tale. But later, that sound of purity disintegrates, evolving into something potentially sinister to highlight the danger of absolute power in the computer age.
Once upon a time in an over-rational machine age something was amiss… When absolute power corrupts absolutely, any incidental doubt is the beginning of consciousness. The meaning of life at the dawn of artificial intelligence remains the perpetual reinvention of singularity, possibly in a new lifeform leading to the man machine origins.
Our Digital Age Fairy Tale Animations
was inspired by the
Three Feathers told
by the Grimm Brothers.
The Three Feather tale
is a pretty mild story,
which is why it is not
particularly well known,
but introduces all the classical symbols of life to provide for different interpretation levels: social vs psychological. We kept that framework intact but added a dramatic transfiguration to reflect the inescapable man computer symbiosis... the future humans.
All visuals were selected, edited, animated and colored by SpareTag.com to form the following sequences of our original 90-second-short video: