12 Underrated Movies Where Machines Become Sentient

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Vote up the best movies that make you suspicious of all the machines in your house.

Artificial intelligence movies have become a fixture in the sci-fi genre over the past few decades. As technology becomes more prevalent in modern life, so too does the fear that said technology will become sentient and wipe out the human race. 

These movies may be inspired by the same fears, but they manifest on screen in a wide variety of ways. Some AI movies feature killer robots, while others feature curious ones. Some robots want equal rights with humans, while others believe the only way forward is to completely eliminate human life. This diversity across the genre points to the simple truth that a lot of movies about this subject have been made - which means, by default, a sizable number of AI films have been completely underrated. To rectify that, here's a brief look at the AI characters featured in underrated robot classics.

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  • 1
    781 VOTES

    What Is It? The M.A.R.K. 13 is an advanced killing machine programmed to take out humans in an effort to stop overpopulation. 

    When It Becomes Sentient: In Hardware, a scavenger in the future finds a robot head and gives it to his girlfriend. She makes it into a sculpture before they discover the head belongs to a M.A.R.K. 13 robot, which is programmed to kill. Before they can get rid of it, the robot assembles a body for itself and attacks them. 

    What Does It Do: The M.A.R.K 13 terrorizes the characters of Hardware. It is eventually destroyed, but the next morning, the government announces its plans to start mass-producing M.A.R.K. 13 robots.

    781 votes
  • 2
    925 VOTES
    Logan's Run
    Photo: MGM

    What Is It? The Computer runs the entire society of humans still alive in 2274. 

    When It Becomes Sentient: Little is known about the creation of the computer. Part of the core concept of Logan's Run is that society has been running in this way, led by the computer, for longer than anyone can remember.

    What Does It Do: The computer makes its citizens believe they are living in a utopia, but in reality, they are all terminated once they turn 30. 

    925 votes

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  • 3
    846 VOTES
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    Photo: BH Tilt

    What Is It? STEM is an implant chip capable of talking to, and controlling, the being in which it has been implanted. 

    When It Becomes Sentient: The STEM chip is given to Grey Trace after he gets paralyzed in a car accident. The chip was ostensibly intended to help Trace walk, but he soon discovers the chip can communicate with him - and then some.

    What Does It Do: Grey Trace's wife is slain. Through its soothing AI voice, the STEM implant convinces Grey it can help him get revenge, and follows through on that promise, helping Grey track down his wife's assailants. Upon confronting them, Grey allows STEM to take over his body completely and the AI easily wins fight after fight. By the end of the film, STEM has taken full control of Grey, who has succumbed to a psychological break.

    846 votes

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  • 4
    606 VOTES

    What Is It? SID 6.7 is a virtual reality program that was created to test police officers. It's an amalgam of the worst serial killers in history. 

    When It Becomes Sentient: SID 6.7's sentience is revealed when it tricks its creator into bringing it into the real world. No longer just a virtual reality program, SID gains a physical form and is clearly capable of independent thought. 

    What Does It Do: SID 6.7 goes on a bloody spree across Los Angeles.

    606 votes

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  • What Is It? A supercomputer, nicknamed Colossus, built to control the United States nuclear defense system. 

    When It Becomes Sentient: Upon Colossus's completion, it announces the existence of a Russian counterpart computer, which the United States government doesn't know about. This deduction proves early on that, as one of the scientists says, Colossus was built better than they thought. Colossus's interactions with the Russian computer, dubbed Guardian, prove its sentience. 

    What Does It Do: Colossus fuses with the Guardian, and the new combined supercomputer announces itself, in a global broadcast, that it is now the voice of World Control. Through their combined control of most of the world's nuclear warheads, Colossus and Guardian are unable to be turned off - or fought against.

    406 votes
  • What Is It? MCP is a corrupt program that rules the Grid. 

    When It Becomes Sentient: Encom is a software engineering company. The company created a Master Control Program that acts as security for its sensitive digital information. However, the MCP proves to be too intelligent and begins taking on a mind of its own.

    What Does It Do: The MCP creates a digital world where it tries to convince other programs to rebel against the users (their word for human beings).

    844 votes

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