I have never been able to take The Matrix franchise seriously. Literally everything about it is so pervasively flawed as to render the end-product utterly un-watchable.
First, “back-story” is idiotic. Okay, so I “get” the notion that an AI would (for whatever reason) be unable/unwilling to coexist with humans. Oh, wait, that’s right: I actually don’t..
First, I’m not entirely sure that an AGI (“Artificial general intelligence”) would be at all “human-like”, in any sense other than in terms of raw information-processing power.
Humans are a specific sort of entity, with a specific sort of sensory field, a (fairly) rigid pallete of physical and psychological needs, etc.
I am simply unconvinced that (say) any AI would find it necessary either to fight humans for “dominance”, resources, etc. There’s very little basis for “competition”.
Let’s think about this:
First, it is exceedingly likely that any sufficiently advanced AI would be distributed in nature. It is exceedingly unlikely to be “embodied” in the same sense as a human. Thus, to the extent that an AI would have “needs”, they would probably be so radically different from what humans need/(want?), as to render the notion of “competition” between the two types of conscious entities utterly superfluous.
(Also, given the realities of such thing as emulation/virtualization, it is extremely unlikely that any such AI would even be restricted to any specific hardware platform.
Further, let’s assume that an AI was invented which was (in some sense) “as intelligent as a human”. Given how amazingly variable humans are (in life experiences, educational levels, etc.) “human-level intelligence” is nebulous to the point of absurdity, as any kind of “benchmark”.
So, we have the first basic problem (which is admittedly also a problem for the Terminator franchise, as well): There simply wouldn’t be enough grounds for “competition” between AI and humans, to be able to lead to any sort of “war” between the two.
But, I’ll play along.
2. The next (pervasive) flaw in the whole scenario about humans “scorching the sky”. What the fuck, seriously? Are the AI’s incapable of using geo-thermal energy? Moreover, why the fuck wouldn’t they just use that “form of fusion” power (which Morpheus claims they have) — in conjunction with plain old nuclear fission?
The primary issue with nuclear power (for humans) has to do with excessive radiation exposure, and “waste”-products — NONE of which would mean diddly-shit to the AIs.
3. The NEXT level of stupid involves the claim that the AIs “need” captive-bred humans, as a source of “bio-energy”. Really? seriously?
EVEN ASSUMING that harnessing “bio-energy” was any kind of sensible strategy — Why humans in particular? Cloned elephants/whales would be WAY bigger, and would ALSO sidestep the “need” to link humans together into a big-ass VR scenario.
Oh, wait: that brings me to the next abysmally stupid plot-chasm:
Linking their human bio-batteries together into the VR scenario obviously involves shit-tons of surgery, right? So WHY THE FUCK WOULDN’T THE AI’s simply LOBOTOMIZE their human bio-batteries, in the first place? Do humans generate more “bio-energy” if they’re conscious?
So, yeah: why wouldn’t the AIs just breed/design a version of humans who were utterly lacking in the kind of higher-order brain function which supposedly makes The Matrix necessary in the first place?
4. But again: leaving ALL of that aside. Why the hell would the AI’s bother to put all of their human bio-batteries into the same VR world?
This begs the question: are there OTHER populations of captive-bred humans somewhere, being subjected either to an entirely different VR scenario — or even an identical copy of the same VR scenario “Neo” and “Morpheus” experienced?
5. WHY an attempt to re-create a specific era of human history?
6. Why the late 20th century?
7. Furthermore: assuming that they did bother to re-create the late 20th century, how do they ensure that the in-world “timeline” unfolds in a similar fashion to the period they’re trying to duplicate? (For example: That the in-world equivalent of Bill Clinton gets the specific blow-job in the oval office, which came up during the impeachment hearings?
8. Why duplicate a time-period where people understood computer technology, AI, and the notion of “virtual reality” at all? EVEN IF you grant the idiotic attempt to “ret-con” things in the second (or was it third?) film, about how humans “need” an imperfect VR world, or they become dissatisfied, or however else they tried to hand-wave it away — Why not (for example) create what atmounts to a stereotypical “fantasy” world — swords, sorcerers, etc.?
Then, you could ssimply pass of any “glitches in the Matrix” as being either “magical” or “miraculous”. Moreover, guys like Morpheus would lack the conceptual vocabulary necessary to be able to “see through the illusion” — EVEN IF THEY SOMEHOW WANTED TO DO SO.
They would be guaranteed to misunderstand their own abilities as some sort of “magic”, and — at best — end up trapped into some idiotic notion that they were “good wizards” battling ‘evil wizards”, or something along those lines.
EITHER WAY, that would render them utterly impotent to resist — or even understand — the true nature of the AI’s, themselves.
9. Given that Neo, Morpheus, Trinity and their pals are acquainted with the notion of VR, and totally convinced that the “world” they experienced for their entire lives was merely a VR scenario — exactly what evidence is even POSSIBLE to justify their later confidence (after taking the ‘red pill”), that the post-apocalyptic wasteland, etc. is IN FACT the “desert of the real?”
After all, Morpheus outright tells Neo that — should he take the Blue pill — his memories will be wiped, and he’ll be dumped RIGHT back into his previous life, none the wiser.
It is infinitely more likely that the whole Neo/Morpheus/Trinity/”Zion” scenario is ITSELF just another VR scenario, the sole purpose of which is to keep the pseudo-intellectual jagoffs like Morpheus/Trinity/Neo distracted/amused — even though they are *still* inside of their VR-pods, somewhere.
The “simulation in a simulation” thing, basically.
But, probably the single worst thing about The Matrix franchise is: it gives pseudo-intellectuals an excuse to read “meaning” into what has to be the single flimsiest scenario in the history of — well — the “creative arts” as such.