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I was reading this question when I recalled a modern movie I'd seen in the past three years about a girl AI that was created illegally. I believe the girl was supposed to act as if she were somewhere around 10-12 years old.

Male/boy robots are legal, but the female versions are considered too erratic and historically becomes murderous, so have been outlawed. The girl robot is created and "raised" secretly away from the public by a scientist that believes he can figure out how to make a realistic girl robot without it killing anyone. The scenery is mostly outdoors, with lots of tall cliffs, like mountains, but at the base of the mountains. And the nearby town is fairly small, but "near future" modern by today's standards.

I want to say the roboticist/programmer/scientist was one of the original pioneers of this type of robot, but left the field for a reason I don't remember. It might be due to an accident or simply because he didn't agree with the law against female AI.

The "programming" shown looks like a 3D holographic representation of glass. The "program" can only be added to, without deletions, so the whole thing has to be scrapped and started from scratch if anything "goes wrong".

At some point, a woman meets the programmer and starts a relationship with him, not knowing what he is doing. I believe she finds out at some point. At the end of the movie, I think she is thrown off a cliff by the girl AI, which prompts the programmer to delete her program after putting her to bed, pretending that it's just another bedtime.

I don't think this was an American film, or at least it wasn't filmed in America, but I'm pretty sure the language was English. I want to say this was a fairly new movie when I watched it on Netflix. I don't remember who any of the actors were, but I don't think they were big names.

I don't believe this is Zoe, since that's an adult robot. It's not M3GAN, for a lot of reasons.

Can anyone help me figure this one out? Besides the mystery spring-boarding off the other question, this was a really well done movie and I wouldn't mind finding/watching it again.

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  • @freedomn-m, I've recently watched "I Am Mother", and these two movies are not at all alike, not even the plot. "I am Mother" is about a robot that raises a human girl, and it turns out the robot is a psycho monster that is trying to rebuilt the human race in it's image. There's no programming, no small town, no mountains, no scientist, no love interest, no cliff, and it's definitely a Hollywood movie. And the main character is Hilary Swank, which there wasn't any blockbuster actors in Eva. There were a few well known 2nd string actors, but no A-listers. Jun 13, 2023 at 16:46
  • @freedomn-m, you and I seem to have watched a very different movie. The facility isn't an illegal installation, it's a "human bank" in an attempt to repopulate the Earth after a worldwide disaster. The robot didn't create the child, just caused it to grow in a synthetic womb, and the "programming" is not code, nor is it glass-like holographic structures, like I said, but rather behavioral programming. The outdoors is pretty void of life with no town and not green, like I suggested this movie to be. The only thing similar between the two movies are that they involve robots and girls. Jun 14, 2023 at 16:22
  • @freedomn-m, try rereading a synopsis to see just how different these movies are from each other. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Am_Mother Besides, I also said that a large portion of the movie is outside, where "I am Mother" is almost exclusively indoors with just a few short scenes outside, which is mostly foggy. Jun 14, 2023 at 16:34

2 Answers 2

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This is Eva (2011).

From a review:

“Eva” is a modestly chilling if predictable Spanish science fiction film about “emo” robots. A 2011 vehicle for poly-lingual leading man Daniel Bruhl (“Rush”), it’s obsessed with that one great robotic concern in sci-i — the ineffable extra “something” that makes us human.

This is a Spanish-language film set in a near-future version of a town in Spain, overlooked by snowy mountains.

Ten years prior to the events of the film, the protagonist, Alex, along with his then-girlfriend, Lana, and his brother, David, were working on the creation of the 'SI-9,' a child-like robot intended to be the first "free" robot (apparently a reference to free will). For unexplained reasons, Alex, abandoned this project and emigrated to Australia, leaving Lana and David behind.

Ten years later, Alex returns to the town and is asked to finish the SI-9 project by his old mentor, Julia, a professor at the town's university. The SI-9's body is near-complete, resembling a small human boy; Julia just needs Alex to develop its emotional intelligence software. For this, he'll need to pick a real-life human subject to model it on. Julia shows Alex footage of various boys, but he finds them uninteresting.

He subsequently meets, Eva, the young daughter of David and Lana, who're now married to one another. Alex is fascinated by Eva's quirky personality, and begins basing the SI-9's programming on her, with her knowledge and consent, but without that of her parents. He has a child-sized humanoid robot in his workshop at home, and tests the programming out on that.

The programming involves him moving holographic shapes resembling glassy structures around in midair. He then pulls those shapes into a small sphere, and sends it into the head of the robot, which comes to life and begins moving around somewhat like a human child. It doesn't yet speak, and doesn't look human, with no skin or hair; just orange and white metal plating.

The next time Alex sees Julia, he proposes that they make the SI-9 a girl rather than a boy, arguing that boys are clumsy and boring, while girls are sweeter and more sensitive. Julia rejects this proposal, though, stating that girls are also more jealous and twisted, and that she knows all this because she was one once.

Alex continues to work on the robot he keeps at home, which can now speak, but the robot takes offense when he chuckles at its behaviour, and despite his attempts to calm it down, its anger escalates until it throws a chisel at a wooden beam just beside his head. Alex then issues a verbal command -- "What do see you see when you close your eyes?" -- which instantly shuts the robot down.

It was established earlier in the film that this is a "sacred" command which should only be used in extreme circumstances, as it destroys a robot's "emotional memory" -- its "soul" -- and that, while a robot can be restarted afterwards, it'll never be the same again. As such, Alex has now lost all the progress he'd made on this robot since his return.

Alex is subsequently visited in his home by Lana, who tells him that Eva is the finished version of the SI-9 robot they'd worked on together ten years earlier. Eva overhears this, and apparently unaware of the fact that she was a robot beforehand, runs off towards the mountains. Lana chases after her, but tells Alex to stay behind, as she wants to explain things to Eva alone.

Lana catches up to Eva, who's now lying face down in the snow, partway up a mountain. Lana slices off a section of the skin on Eva's back, drawing blood and exposing a metal hatch, which she opens to reactivate Eva. Eva wakes up, but when she notices the blood on her back, she begins acting out again. Lana tries to calm her down, but Eva shoves her and Lana slips and falls off a cliff edge to her death.

In the aftermath of this, Alex learns from Julia that Lana finished the SI-9 project after he left, but that Eva failed to pass the safety control, when tested. Lana wanted to keep her as a daughter, though, and Julia allowed it; a decision she now regrets. Julia insists that Eva must be destroyed, and intends to do it herself, but Alex persuades her to let him do it.

Alex spends one last day with Eva, before taking her home to bed. She initially thinks he's going to fix her, but realises he's actually going to shut her down, and, apparently accepting this, embraces him with tears in her eyes. He then issues the command -- "What do see you see when you close your eyes?" -- causing her to shut down, and he lays her head down gently on the pillow.

It's never stated in the film that making a robot girl is actually illegal. The only time illegality is mentioned is when Alex notes that his robotic, pet cat, Gris, is a free robot, doing whatever it likes, and that this is an "illegal application."

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    At first, the trailer didn't look right, but as it went on, I'm pretty sure this is the correct movie. The brief scenes of the glass-like "code" and the cliff scene looks very familiar. Surprisingly, the staircase in the background was (I think ) the first thing I recognized. I was thinking there was more green, rather than snow, in the outdoor scenes, though. Now I need to find a way to watch it to verify it, but I'm pretty sure this is it. It seems to be on Amazon Prime. Jun 12, 2023 at 22:52
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    I watched this movie last night, and this is definitely the movie I was thinking of. Good edit, although Eva doesn't run off because the other robot is finished, she runs off because she overhears Lana saying she is a robot that Lana finished after Alex left, based on Alex and Lana. And yeah, girl robots weren't illegal, just the "free" application of the cat, and recommended against by the senior professor, Julia, like you said. Jun 13, 2023 at 16:39
  • @computercarguy - "Good edit, although Eva doesn't run off because the other robot is finished, she runs off because she overhears Lana saying she is a robot" That's what I said: "Alex is subsequently visited in his home by Lana, who tells him that Eva is the finished version of the SI-9 robot they'd worked on together ten years earlier." Jun 13, 2023 at 17:41
  • Somehow, I didn't read it that way. I seemed to have read it as Lana was telling Alex the boy android had been finished. Sorry. Jun 14, 2023 at 16:16
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Alita Battle Angel?

There's some overlap, but a fair number of details don't match so this could be quite a long answer.

Rather than female robots being outlawed, robots have replaced humans as the owners of civilization following a defeating war. Humans are therefore a historical monster, and Alita is a human cyborg. She has a human brain rather than a robot's computer.

Programming looks a like this, not entirely sure I would call it holographic glass, but maybe... Programming

Alita is found and rescued by a programmer or doctor type character. He essentially becomes her father.

I don't recall anything about the no deletes that matches in the film.

The climatic fight scene takes place on the tether that connect the ground and sky cities and a significant amount of falling off the edges occurs.

The scene you mention with the programmer putting the found character to sleep does not appear.

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    It's not a good match. Alita is female, but there's nothing at all about female robots being outlawed, and she's not raised in secret.
    – Valorum
    Jun 12, 2023 at 21:50
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    Reading a synopsis of the plot, this is definitely not it. There's way too much action and violence to be the correct movie. And I don't recognize the movie still at all. I'm probably still going to watch it, though, since it sounds pretty good. And with James Cameron and Jennifer Connelly, I'd probably still watch it even if it sounded bad. Jun 12, 2023 at 22:57

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