Take a revealing, enlightening and sometimes challenging look into the not so distant future with the full-length documentary MACHINE – a collaboration between Audi Australia and the creators of Chef’s Table, screening on SBS Viceland this Sunday night.

26 June, 2020

The world is changing right before our eyes and technology is increasingly playing a role in every facet of the world we live in. Artificial intelligence in particular, has the potential to create quantum change in every conceivable area of life, opening up a world of new possibilities and just as many new challenges.

Imagine a machine capable of out thinking a human, or an app that learns the behaviours and speech patterns of a person in order to interact with others. Self-driving cars, warfare conducted by ‘smart machines – machine learning on a scale never before imagined and all of the potential for good and bad that that brings with it. 

In the award-winning, full-length documentary MACHINE, that driving force of change, artificial intelligence (AI), is put under the microscope and its ever-increasing impact examined in areas as diverse as autonomous driving, sexuality and warfare.

Premiered globally at last year’s Melbourne International Film Festival in December, MACHINE will make its free-to-air debut this Sunday night on SBS Viceland, allowing a whole new audience to explore the many facetted world of AI and the potential impacts – good and bad – our life as we know it.

MACHINE is the result of a collaboration between Audi Australia and the award-winning creators of the Netflix series, Chef’s Table, which draws on experts across a range of fields to drill down into how this technology is already transforming the way we live, and just what it could mean for the future. 

Directed by Grammy nominated filmmaker Justin Krook (I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead), Machine is compelling, through provoking and challenging, dispelling some myths while raising new questions as to the ethics and responsibilities involved in the development of a technology that has been likened to the invention of electricity. 

MACHINE is a film that not only looks at the practical applications of AI, but also the ethical questions raised by these new developments, including autonomous mobility and the future of such technological advancements,” says Nikki Warburton, Chief Customer & Marketing Officer, Audi Australia.  

Looking at this new technology through the eyes of engineers and inventors, roboticist and thought leaders from around the globe, the potential for good and equally for harm are laid bare. ?What is real and what is still the stuff of science fiction? Just how close are we to developing technology that is not only smarter than we are, but able to think independently? What are ethical responsibilities in developing this technology and will there come a time when the technology will be able to effectively continue to develop under its own steam?

The potential for AI and machine learning in the field of mobility is obviously enormous and to that end, Dr Miklos Kiss, Head of Autonomous Driving at AUDI AG, lends his expertise to the film, looking at the many benefits that will be derived from autonomous vehicles while also looking at the challenges, both legal and ethical that the technology raises. While Audi’s design guru, Marc Lichte, also features, examining the role AI will play in future design.

“It’s hard to think of an aspect of our lives it [AI] won’t touch in some way,” says Professor Toby Walsh, whose extensive work in the area of AI includes being part of a group of esteemed scientists partitioning the UN to ban the development of autonomous weapons. 

That the technology is already present in so many areas of modern life and that it has the potential to expand exponentially make it both exciting and deeply unsettling on some levels. MACHINE presents an honest and compelling look at just some of the reasons for celebration and wonder as well as highlighting areas of concern and potential threats.

It has received widespread critical acclaim wherever it has been shown, most recently garnering numerous awards at the 41st AWARD Awards earlier this month.

This is a film that will touch everyone who watches it on some level, as well as serving as a timely wake-up call that we are now well and truly entering a phase in human invention like nothing we have ever dealt with before. 

“We’ve never experienced having a smarter species on the planet. You can’t take something smarter than you back.”

MACHINE will screen on SBS Viceland at 8.30 PM (AEST), this Sunday, June 28, and will also be available on SBS On Demand for 30 days after the broadcast. ICON Film Distribution will also make the film available On-Demand in Australia from August, 2020.