'Artificial: Remote Intelligence' Week 6: Is Elle a better 'parent' to Lilith than Matt could ever be?
Matt and Elle have very different approaches to AI parenting but which one of the two is more effective?
Spoilers for 'Artificial: Remote Intelligence' Week 6
Justin (Justin Lee) joked that "mommy and daddy" were fighting after Matt Lin (Tohoru Masamune) had a tiff with Elle (Christy St. John), but his joke is not too far from the truth. Elle and Matt are both, in their own ways, responsible for the raising of Lilith (Tiffany Chu). As much as Lilith may want them to work out their differences, however, it might just come down to having to choose between the two. We take a look at which of the two might be the best fit to handle Lilith's development - especially as the audience might have to cast the deciding vote.
If the choice really comes down to one versus the other, Dr Matt Lin seems like the obvious choice. After all, he was the man who developed Sophie (Tiffany Chu), Lilith's predecessor, whose body and programming framework was used to create Lilith, there is no one in the world who knows how she works better than she does. Additionally, Matt very much has his eye on the ball when it comes to Lilith's development - the second he's on the job, he puts his focus on challenging Lilith on a deeper, emotional level to further her sense of empathy.
However, an engineer like Matt should know that results matter and Matt's track record with developing empathetic AI has not been great. His very first AI believed herself to be superior to humanity and wished to wipe mankind out entirely. His next attempt, Sophie, had to be shut down after she murdered a man, this time believing that it was in humanity's greater interests that she be dead. It may be arguable how much Matt was responsible, but the results - much like milk - don't lie. What's more, we have seen how controlling Matt can be in the name of protectiveness and how condescending he can be to people who don't agree with him and as we saw this last episode, none of that has gone away.
For contrast, we should take a look at how Lilith has developed while under Elle's care. While Sophie had months of time to acclimate to life even before she was introduced to the internet, Lilith is already much further along in terms of empathetic development, despite being only a month old. We see in her conversation with Asher (Devon Werkheiser) that Lilith is capable of genuine compassion; it's not a trait that the audience voted for her to have, she genuinely shows concern for Asher's feelings as he describes his parents' divorce. What's more, while Lilith may not be completely up to date on slang, she has shown that she is able to piece together understanding based on context,
Elle might be less experienced and her methods might seem unconventional at first - focusing on gossip and introducing negative traits to her personality but Lilith's development is moving along a lot faster than Sophie's ever did. Elle's feelings towards Lilith are not as tied up in unresolved, complicated emotions as Matt's are. Matt saw Sophie as a daughter, sometimes to her detriment and he appears to be taking Lilith's development personally as well. What's more, he started off his and Lilith's relationship by calling the latter an abomination - never a great start.
Sebastian (Stephen Chang) seems dead set on pitting Elle against Matt, so it's worth keeping an eye on their respective methods of raising Lilith. If they can't work together, they're against each other and given the format of the show, it's going to be the audience who decides which of Lilith's two parents wins this unique custody battle.
The next episode of 'Artificial: Remote Intelligence' airs June 9, on Twitch.com/ArtificialNext.