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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Explores the idea of whether we actually want machines to beat humans at games. What does it ultimately mean? What does it say about competition, practicing, and being the best at something?
Positive Role Models
The interviewees seem well meaning, and they're certainly intelligent, but they're not doing anything here that's heroic or selfless.
The subjects of this movie are mostly male, but some women are also prominently featured. Interviewees seem to be from a variety of backgrounds/locations, but details aren't shared.
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Violence & Scariness
Video game violence and fighting.
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Uses of "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "screwed," "oh my God."
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Products & Purchases
Mentions of Coke (Coca-Cola).
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Artificial Gamer is a documentary about the members of a research and deployment company, OpenAI, who are challenged to invent an AI that's capable of winning the game Dota 2 in time for the annual The International tournament. It helps to either be a computer programmer -- or a dedicated Dota 2 player -- to be fully immersed here, but the movie is still involving enough for other viewers. Expect to see some on-screen video game fighting and hear a few uses of language ("f--k," "s--t," "ass," "screwed," "oh my God"). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It would likely help to be either a tech expert or a passionate player of Dota 2 -- or both -- to fully appreciate this dense, quickly paced documentary. But even if you're not, it will still likely hold your attention. Artificial Gamer starts with a little history, showing how computers have been created over the past several decades to beat Tic-Tac-Toe, Pong, Checkers, Backgammon, Chess, and even the TV game show Jeopardy. (Although, isn't that last one cheating a bit? Wouldn't a computer simply be able to Google all the answers?) The film tries to explain the levels of complexity that exist in Dota 2, but images of the game -- which looks like a normal fighting game -- don't really fully convey that aspect.
Nonetheless, you definitely get the idea that the OpenAI team is up for a real challenge. Occasionally there's an impressive tidbit or factoid like the fact that thousands of computers were set up so that the AI could play 180 years' worth of Dota 2 each day. The team members are all pretty lovable characters (even the one whose nickname is "Psycho"). And the final act at The International is admittedly pretty exciting, with the lights, the crowd, and the enthusiastic announcers; the OpenAI team seems swept away by it all, in awe of the show and aware that there's more at stake than they had imagined. Since Artificial Gamer tends to move a little quickly, it comes out feeling somewhat inconsequential, but it's still worth a look.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.