avatar

Muhammad Bilal Awan

April 8, 2021

15 spectacular movies on Data Science, AI, and ML | Entertainment and Data

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are part of our everyday lives. These data science movies are my favorite.

Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) systems, humanoid robots, and machine learning are not just in science fiction movies anymore. We come across this technological advancement in our everyday life. Today our cellphones, cars, TV sets, and even household appliances are using machine learning to improve themselves.

As we advance towards faster connectivity and the possibility of making the Internet of Things (IoT) more common, the idea of machines taking over and controlling humans might sound funny, but there are some challenges that need attention, including ethical and moral dimensions of machines thinking and acting like humans.

Here we are going to talk about some amazing movies that bring to life these moral and ethical aspects of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the power of data science. These data science movies are a must-watch for any enthusiast willing to learn data science.

List of movies on Data Science

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

A Space Odyssey movie poster
2001: A Space Odyssey Movie Poster

This classic film by Stanley Kubrick addresses the most interesting possibilities that exist within the field of Artificial Intelligence. Scientists, like always, are misled by their pride when they develop a highly advanced 9000 series of computers. This AI system is programmed into a series of memory banks giving it the ability to solve complex problems and think like humans.

What humans don’t comprehend is that this superior and helpful technology has the ability to turn against them and signal the destruction of mankind. The movie is based on the Discovery One space mission to the planet Jupiter. Most aspects of this mission are controlled by H.A.L the advanced A.I program. H.A.L is portrayed as a humanistic control system with an actual voice and ability to communicate with the crew.

Initially, H.A.L seems to be a friendly advanced computer system, making sure the crew is safe and sound. But as we advance into the storyline, we realize that there is a glitch in this system, and what H.A.L is trying to do is fail the mission and kill the entire human crew. As the lead character, Dave tries to dismantle H.A.L we hear the horrifying words “I’m Sorry Dave.” This phrase has become iconic as it serves as a warning against allowing computers to take control of everything.

Interstellar (2014)

Interstellar Movie Poster
Interstellar Movie Poster

Christopher Nolan’s cinematic success won an Oscar for best visual effects and grossed over $677 million worldwide.  The film is centered around astronauts’ journey to the far reaches of our galaxy to find a suitable planet for life as Earth is slowly dying. The lead character played by Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey, an astronaut and spaceship pilot, along with mission commander Brand and science specialists are heading towards a newly discovered wormhole.

The mission takes the astronauts on a spectacular interstellar journey through time and space, but at the same time they miss out on their own life back at home light years away. On board the spaceship, Endurance is a pair of quadrilateral robots called TARS and CASE. They surprisingly resemble the monoliths from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

TARS is one of the crew members of mission Endurance. TARS’ personality is witty, sarcastic, and humorous, traits programmed into him to make him a suitable companion for its human crew on this decades-long journey.

CASE’s mission is maintenance and operations of the Endurance in the absence of human crew members. CASE’s personality is quiet and reserved as opposed to TARS. TARS and CASE are true embodiments of the progress that human beings have made in AI technology, thus promising us great adventures in the future.

The Imitation Game (2014)

The Imitation Game Movie Poster
The Imitation Game Movie Poster

Based on the real-life story of Alan Turing, A.K.A. the father of modern computer science, The Imitation Game is centered around Turing and his team of code-breakers at top secret British Government Code and Cipher School. They’re determined to decipher the Nazi German military code called “Enigma”. Enigma is a key part of the Nazi military strategy to safely transmit important information to its units.

To crack this Enigma, Turing creates a primitive computer system that would consider permutations at a faster rate than any human. This achievement helped Allied forces ensure victory over Nazi German in the second world war. The movie not only portrays the impressive life of Alan Turning but also describes the important process of creating the first ever machine of its kind giving birth to the field of cryptography and cyber security.

The Terminator (1984)

The Terminator Movie Poster
The Terminator Movie Poster

The cult classic, Terminator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a cyborg assassin from the future is the perfect combination of action, sci-fi technology, and personification of machine learning.

The humanistic cyborg is created by Cyberdyne Systems and is known as T-800 model 101. Designed specifically for infiltration and combat and is sent on a mission to kill Sarah Connor before she gives birth to John Connor, who would become the ultimate savior for humanity after the robotic uprising.

In this classic, we get to see advanced artificial intelligence in the works and how it has considered humanity the biggest threat to the world. Bent upon total destruction of the human race, only freedom fighters led by John Connor stand in their way. Therefore, sending The Terminator back in time to alter their future is the top priority.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Poster
Blade Runner 2049 Movie Poster

The sequel to the 1982 original Blade runner has impressive visuals capturing the audience’s attention throughout the film. The story is about bio-engineered humans known as “Replicants” after the uprising of 2022 they are being hunted down by LAPD Blade Runner. Blade Runner is an officer who hunts and retires (kills) rogue replicants. Ryan Gosling stars as “K” hunting down replicants who are considered a threat to the world. Every decision he makes is based on analysis. The films explore the relationships and emotions of artificially intelligent beings and raise moral questions regarding freedom to live and the life of self-aware technology.

I, Robot (2004)

I, Robot 2004 movie poster
I, Robot Movie Poster

Will Smith stars as Chicago policeman Del Spooner in the year 2035. He is highly suspicious of the A.I technology, data science, and robots are being used as household helpers. One of these mass-produced robots (cueing in the data science / AI angle), named Sonny, goes rogue and is held responsible for the death of its owner. Its owner falls from a window on the 15th floor. Del investigates this murder and discovers a larger threat to humanity by Artificial Intelligence. As the investigation continues, there are multiple murder attempts on Del but he manages to barely escape with his life. The police detective continues to unravel mysterious threats from the A.I technology and tries to stop the mass uprising.

Minority Report (2002)

Minority Report Movie poster
Minority Report Movie Poster

Minority Report and data science? That is correct! It is a 2002 action thriller directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Cruise. The most common use of data science is using current data to infer new information, but here data are being used to predict crime predispositions. A group of humans gifted with psychic abilities (PreCogs) provide the Washington police force with information about crimes before they are committed.

Using visual data and other information by PreCogs, it is up to the PreCrime police unit to use data to explore the finer details of a crime in order to prevent it. However, things take a turn for the worst when one-day PreCogs predict John Anderson one of their own, is going to commit murder. To prove his innocence, he goes on a mission to find the “Minority Report” which is the prediction of the PreCog Agatha that might tell a different story and prove John’s innocence.

Her (2013)

Her Movie Poster
Her Movie Poster

Her (2013) is a Spike Jones science fiction film starring Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore Twombly, a lonely and depressed writer. He is going through a divorce at the time and, to make things easier, purchases an advanced operating system with an A.I. virtual assistant designed to adapt and evolve. The virtual assistant names itself Samantha. Theodore is amazed at the operating system’s ability to emotionally connect with him. Samantha uses its highly advanced intelligence system to help with every one of Theodore’s needs, but now he’s facing an inner conflict of being in love with a machine.

Ex-Machina (2014)

Ex Machina movie poster
Ex-Machina Movie Poster

The story is centered around a 26-year-old programmer, Caleb, who wins a competition to spend a week at a private mountain retreat belonging to the CEO of Blue Book, a search engine company. Soon afterward Caleb realizes he’s participating in an experiment to interact with the world’s first real artificially intelligent robot. In this British science fiction, A.I do not want world domination but simply want the same civil rights as humans.

The Machine (2013)

The Machine Movie Poster
The Machine Movie Poster

The Machine is an Indie-British film centered around two artificial intelligence engineers who come together to create the first-ever, self-aware artificial intelligence machines. These machines are created for the Ministry of Defense. The Government’s intention is to create a lethal soldier for war. The cyborg told its designer, “I’m a part of the new world and you’re part of the old.” this chilling statement gives you the idea of what is to come next.

Transcendence (2014)

Transcendence movie poster
Transcendence Movie Poster

Transcendence is a story about a brilliant researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, Dr. Will Caster, played by Johnny Depp. He’s working on a project to create a conscious machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything along with the full range of human emotions. Dr. Caster has gained fame due to his ambitious project and controversial experiments. He’s also become a target for anti-technology extremists who is willing to do anything to stop him.

However, Dr. Caster becomes more determined to accomplish his ambitious goals and achieve the ultimate power. His wife Evelyn and best friend Max are concerned with Will’s unstoppable appetite for knowledge which is evolving into a terrifying quest for power.

A.I. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (2001)

AI Movie Poster
AI Movie Poster

A.I Artificial Intelligence is a science fiction drama directed by Steven Spielberg. The story takes us to the not-so-distant future where ocean waters are rising due to global warming and most coastal cities are flooded. Humans move to the interior of the continents and keep advancing their technology. One of the newest creations is realistic robots known as “Mechas”. Mechas are humanoid robots, very complex but lack emotions.

This changes when David, a prototype Mecha child capable of experiencing love, is developed. He is given to Henry and his wife Monica, whose son contracted a rare disease and has been placed in cryostasis. David is providing all the love and support for his new family, but things get complicated when Monica’s real son returns home after a cure is discovered. The film explores every possible emotional interaction humans could have with an emotionally capable A.I. technology.

Moneyball (2011)

Money Ball movie poster
Money Ball Movie Poster

Billy Beane, played by Brad Pitt, and his assistant, Peter Brand (Jonah Hill), are faced with the challenge of building a winning team for the Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics’ 2002 season with a limited budget. To overcome this challenge Billy uses Brand’s computer-generated statistical analysis to analyze and score players’ potential and assemble a highly competitive team. Using historical data and predictive modeling they manage to create a playoff-bound MLB team with a limited budget.

Margin Call (2011)

Margin Call Movie Poster
Margin Call Movie Poster

The 2011 American drama film written and directed by J.C. Chandor is based on the events of the 2007-08 global financial crises. The story takes place over a 24-hour period at a large Wall Street investment bank. One of the junior risk analysts discovers a major flaw in the risk models which has led their firm to invest in the wrong things, winding up at the brink of financial disaster.

A seemingly simple error is in fact affecting millions of lives. This is not only limited to the financial world. An economic crisis like this caused by flawed behavior between humans and machines can have trickle-down effects on ordinary people. Technology doesn’t exist in a bubble, it affects everyone around it and spreads exponentially. Margin Call explores the impact of technology and data science on our lives.

21 (2008)

21 movie poster
21 Movie Poster

Ben Campbell, a mathematics student at MIT, is accepted at the prestigious Harvard Medical School but he’s unable to afford the $300,000 tuition. One of his professors at MIT, Micky Rosa (Kevin Spacey), asks him to join his blackjack team consisting of five other fellow students. Ben accepts the offer to win enough cash to pay his Harvard tuition. They fly to Las Vegas over the weekend to win millions of dollars using numbers, codes, and hand signals. This movie gives insights into Newton’s method and Fibonacci numbers from the perspective of six brilliant students and their professor.

Thanks for reading we hope you will enjoy our recommendations on data science-based movies. Also, check out the 18 Best Data Science Podcasts.

Want to learn more about AI, Machine Learning, and Data Science? Check out Data Science Dojo’s online Data Science Bootcamp program!

Up for a Weekly Dose of Data Science?

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter & stay up-to-date with current data science news, blogs, and resources.