SYNTH- Changing the Perspectives of Audience towards AI through Cinema

by October 28, 2020 0 comments


Sophia is the first AI in the world to receive citizenship in Saudi Arabia.

In a recent Podcast series with Analytics Insight, Lara Heller, British Filmmaker, Actress and Producer shares her views on how disruptive technologies are transforming everyday lives and impacting the film industry.  Lara is of producing and acting in an upcoming movie SYNTH that takes us into the world of Artificial Intelligence.

Having her roots in England, she is half German and half Persian. Lara plays the lead role as well produced SYNTH that explores the possibilities of AI. The name SYNTH is derived from the word synthetic and is inspired by the true story of an AI application called Sophia, a Humanoid Robot made by Hanson Robotics in Hong Kong. Sophia is the first AI in the world to receive citizenship in Saudi Arabia.

Talking about her interest in this film, Lara read about Sophia in the newspapers and that inspired her to write a story. Lara says, “When we think about AI, we usually don’t think about the rights of AI. What a world would look like if AI has rights?”

She further added that it was a true story rather than some imagination. With AI in past, lots of films have been villianized and talked about fear. She believes that AI is entrenched in our lives, though in small ways. It’s unstoppable. Now it’s a matter of how far do we go? Are we going to adopt AI responsibly or not? Or are we yet to see the actual effects of it?

Sophia, as a humanoid robot has been on interviews, like The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Lara emphasizes that when Sophia talks, one thing that comes to our minds is does she has conscious?

“If we run with that idea, if AI has responsibility, shouldn’t AI have rights?” said Lara.

Lara was involved with this project from its inception to post-production. She got the team together and worked with talented people across the board to make a compelling script. The team includes Scott Wheeler (Emmy ominated- director and VFX artist), Writer Ryan C Coleman (The Walking Dead), Eric Brodeur (Editor on Transformers), Tom Reisner (Colorist of Fast & Furious and Sonic the Hedgehog) and Producer Jeff Fuller (Donnie Darko) along with Lara (Adverse).

The cast includes Michael Monks (Doctor Sleep,Garfield) and Don Wallace (NCIS) and Lara Heller (Stardust and The Cut directed by Fatih Akin).

SYNTH is already hitting the film festivals. SYNTH is the Winner of Venice Film Awards for Best Sci-Fi and Best Actress.

The movie aims to achieve and explore a relationship with AI and spark a conversation and more discussion around AI. With limitations and restrictions on technological developments, the movie is keen to explore the idea of free science and having a world where AI is unrestricted and has rights.

Taking into consideration the certain perceptions of the dangers of AI, it’s a man-made creation. Lara believes that AI is perfect and imperfect like the creators. She says, “The scientists and humans are imperfect. Do we want AI to be imperfect? Sophia is going to interviews. She has an Instagram account and has been on a date with celebrities. It’s more tangible and real with some proximity.

The movie aims at creating a ripple effect with different people watching the movie in different parts of the world. Lara opines that AI requires more emotional intelligence in leadership and AI can help create great compassion.

Asked upon why a movie on AI, Lara wishes to change perspectives of audience towards AI.  She says, “Films are a great way to evolve and know more. Filmmakers’’ imagination can broaden out the concept and explore all angles that help us to see the positives as well as the negatives.”


Check out the trailer at:

IG page – @synththemovie

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