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iMom short is an eerie look into the scary future of artificial intelligence

It's like Ex Machina, but with little children.


Posted on Mar 9, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 2:48 am CDT

If you have seen films like Ex Machina or iRobot, there is probably a part of you that fears the continued advances of artificial intelligence. A short 13-minute film titled “iMom” will bring those fears to new heights. 

The short was directed by Ariel Martin and uploaded to video sharing service Vimeo on Monday.

The pint-sized film starts with a mom struggling to connect with her bullied child before handing him off to her iMom, or robot nanny. A storm rolls in and the power shuts off, casting the rest of the scene in darkness. It’s just a robot, a young boy, and a baby. Everything about the video is neatly edited, well acted, and thoroughly disturbing. 

Martin decided to use a commercial for the iMom throughout the piece to provide relief from the haunting qualities of Matilda Brown, who plays the robotic caretaker. The film is also part social commentary, suggesting that strung-out parents are ready and willing to give up on their children and rely on technology to take care of things. 

iMom’s timing couldn’t be better. Google’s AlphaGo computer beat legendary Go! player Lee Sedol yesterday. The win is one of the biggest accomplishments in AI history, and further evidence of just how smart robots can be. 

H/T io9 | screengrab via Ariel Martin/Vimeo

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*First Published: Mar 9, 2016, 8:44 pm CST