I've read on a few forums people saying things along the lines of, "Matriculated was my least favourite of the Animatrix anime, but then I watched it a few times and realised what was going on. Now it's my favourite."

I just watched it for the first time and, try as I did, I could not figure out what was going on. It seems the humans are attempting to "convert" an enemy AI to their side using a simulation. It's not explained precisely what they're doing in order to persuade it, but it seems to work.

Then the crew are attacked in real life (thanks to the beacon that was dropped by the AI), and the AI saves a crew member. Once its done this, however, it tries to re-enter the simulation with the crew member -- apparently being aware that it was in a simulation afterall -- but the human crew-member freaks out (and dies?).

What did I miss?


It's when reality hits you like a brick to the face.

Their goal was to convert the AI to side with the humans, by showing it a better reality where the machines (the bug that created the tendrils) were the "bad guys", while also showing the positive aspects of humanity - sex, games, excitement... And then the humans rescued the AI from the tendrils, treating it as one of their own. Simply put, it worked. The AI chose the humans over its own kind, because of its new-found free will.

The problem was threefold:

  • First, like the scientist in the short says, the AI can't really tell the difference between reality and simulation.
  • Second, this was a smart runner - it knew how to access the other reality.
  • Third, almost all its new companions were dead.

While it apparently made the connection of who was who between the two realities, it didn't understand what the connection was, nor did it apparently understand death (since it didn't try and save her after rescuing her from the other machine). And it now preferred the simulated reality, so it hooked up the last surviving human - the one that saved it from the tendrils - and attempted to return there.

She didn't vanish in fear. She died, and her avatar faded out with it.

This is an AI that now personally understands what death is, having felt loss, and sympathizes with the humans because of it. And has now been left alone.

  • Thanks, Izkata! That really helps a lot. A lot of the Animatrix end on down-notes, actually. It's strange that The Matrix universe never really re-captured the fun energy of the first film again. – Django Reinhardt Dec 15 '12 at 1:06
  • 1
    Also, I assumed it sat on the shore waiting for more sentinels / runners so it could capture them and convert them to it's (the humans) side. For me it painted the picture of a future were the machines had killed all the humans, but had left behind rebel machines that tried to break other machines out of the matrix :) – Binary Worrier Feb 18 '13 at 13:12
  • Also (again) I assumed that she showed the runner a new and wonderful way to live, and even though she was strange and alien to it, the runner "loved" her and chose to becomes like her. The runner tried to save her by bringing her conciousness into it's reality (the matrix) she couldn't face becoming like it (a machine intelligence), and chose death. For me it showed that our - the human - programming for bigotry runs deeper than the machines. – Binary Worrier Feb 18 '13 at 13:16
  • 1
    You know, I just just thinking about this again and I guess I spotted the irony: The machine prefers the simulated version of reality -- the very thing the human rebels were fighting against. – Django Reinhardt May 9 '13 at 12:44

I thought the very end, where she began crossing her arms and yelling was her being brought to the AIs preferred simulation. His reality is one for a machine, the cold and dark swirls as opposed to the bright warm human swirl. It was my understanding that he downloaded her into him to preserve her, but doesn't understand that it is cold and harsh.

  • hi and welcome to stack exchange.. a good answer need some facts quotes article or something to strenghtens your point... it is your understanding ? who are you ? nice 1st try but i suggest you take the tour and go to the help center :) – Rocket Dec 27 '14 at 5:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.