Self-driving cars come with a variety of intriguing and thought provoking questions. It’s something that’s currently being debated among the science community and many people are unsure whether this is the right way for humanity to go in the future. So what better subject to dive into then for our thought provoking sci-fi anthology.
Episode 4 of SF8 begins with a young Ji-Woo witnessing her parents dying at the hands of this self-driving car in an accident.
Fast forward and Ji-Woo awakens and starts working out. Seemingly armed with eye implants, she’s a police officer and because of what happened, does not trust AI. As she heads out, Ji-Woo immediately gets involved in a chase.
She struggles to hide her disdain though in the wake of these eye implants telling her who’s credible and who isn’t. Unfortunately defying this backfires as a young kid tasers her and knocks the officer out.
Back at the station, Ji-Woo tries to explain herself until she’s forced to team up with a newbie. Only, that newbie happens to be an AI entity that’s been implanted into her brain. Ji-Woo is less than happy. On the way home, she tells it to adopt the default model – this one has the name of Seo-Nang.
With this ghostly entity by her side, the pair arrive at another crime scene and go over the analysis. She intentionally refuses to listen to this AI and instead deduces that it may be a car accident.
This, in turn, leads her to the apartment in a bid to break in. Eventually she caves and allows this AI to give her the pass-code to prevent any damage from being conducted.
Inside, the duo find a game that tests reflexes but despite Ji-Woo’s best attempts, she can’t match the high score set. However, she does find a number of drugs used as suppressants. Could they be suppressants to try and get rid of the AI?
With some of these substances highly illegal, Ji-Woo confronts a group of teens out in a train-yard who are all experimenting with drugs. Sensing that one of the boys is about to hit her, she dodges their blow and helps Ji-Woo find the best possible route to solve this…until Ji-Woo fires her gun in the sky and interrupts everything.
After obtaining the recorded footage from “Red-eye’s” eye, Ji-Woo returns to the station and starts going over the information surrounding Hye-Gyeong’s death. In order to get evidence, the only way to do this is to dig up the body.
As they do, Ji-Woo trusts Seo-Nang to obtain crucial information and learns this all links to Chiwoo Industries. They were trying to create a weapon – almost like a cyborg – to use for military purposes.
Ji-Woo drives off but they’re attacked by a man named Baek-Jung who’s responsible for the murder. He starts hitting wildly through the window. With no other choice, she’s forced to let Seo-Nang take control of the car and go autonomous.
With him knocked out on the floor, Seo-Nang decides the only way to progress forward is to attack the AI and hack in to stop him. In a scene that looks ripped right from The Matrix, Seo-Nang and Baek-Jung fight inside the latter’s head while Ji-Woo struggles to hold her own in the real world.
It’s a well choreographed fight, one that sees Ji-Woo and Seo-Nang come out victorious. While Ji-Woo rests up in hospital, she learns that Nang is going to be taken away.
Given her initial disdain for AI, she’s certainly softened to its positive implications.
In the morning, Seo-Nang leaves behind a parting gift – a beautiful memory from her past – as a way of saying goodbye. To exchange the favour, Ji-Woo goes searching for Seo Nang’s AI and seems to clone him. As we cut across to Ji-Woo again, she smiles and waves at Seo-Nang who appears in front of her.
The Episode Review
As a character-driven exploration of AI, SF8 does a great job capturing the positive aspects of this technology. With some of the more conventional methods seemingly archaic the AI shows its usefulness in the field of crime.
Unlike the other episodes in this anthology however, this one actually adds a fair amount of humour to the fold. This lightheartedness works really well to juxtapose what’s going on with Ji-Woo and her disdain for the AI.
The actual story progresses well and all of this leads to a suitably satisfying conclusion at the end. Quite what else SF8 has in store for us remains to be seen but for now this week’s episode bows out on another high.
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