By Ho Mach
Humanity, a word that means to have human characteristics, dignity, and human emotions. What happens if that was applied to an android or artificial intelligence? Would it have a “humanity” too? We are growing in a society where the future would be dominated by technology. What does it mean to be human? I believe that things that are artificial can become human.
That question relates to a film called Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve and a sequel to the original 1982 Blade Runner made by Ridley Scott. The film gives us striking visuals and beautiful cinematography while shrouding the themes and characters in mystery and ambiance. The synopsis of the film is about a Replicant (Android) officer named K, whose job is retiring (killing) older models of Replicants that are long gone. Yet throughout the film, K seems to go against what he is programmed to do. He develops sympathy and a sense of justice by disobeying his actions, even though he is an android. This rounds back to the question of what it means to be human.
In an interview with philosophy professor Timothy Shanahan of Loyola Marymount University, he stated, “At various points in the film, the idea that somebody is born rather than made seems to carry a lot of weight.” Shanahan shows us that the idea of being procreated from humans rather than being made by machine gives us a sense that androids are no more than just pawns to us, yet K is that one pawn that seems to defy everything. K is an example of how A.I. can have humanity, despite being different from a human. It gives the audience that though they aren’t human, they can have humanity and be like one.