Postechian’s Pick: After Yang
Postechian’s Pick: After Yang
  • Reporter Yoon Ju-Hwan
  • 승인 2023.03.01 21:03
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▲After Yang (2022)
After Yang (2022)

 Amidst sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) existing in our life, people sometimes think about our future life with AI or robots. After Yang (2022) is a movie which features a family living with an android robot and how they accept the death of the robot. The family completely understood the perspective of the robot by looking into the memory of the robot. This story line implies how humans can embrace the viewpoint of AI or robots and coexist with them at last.
 The film starts with Yang, who is the AI robot, also known as techno sapiens, taking a picture of the family. Yang was bought by Jake, who is Mika’s father, to take care of his daughter and help her to realize the cultural roots of China because she was adopted from China. However, Yang suddenly shut down his operations, that is, he died. Jake tried to fix him by visiting several repair shops, but no one could fix him and he went to a museum for the last time.
 Because the museum was also not able to fix Yang, they suggested preserving his memory in the museum instead. Jake provided a special device that enabled one to read Yang’s memory bank. He could observe and focus on Yang’s memories which consisted of a few seconds of clip videos of everyday scenes. He also found other memories before the robot came into his family and realized Yang was not just a robot conducting limited tasks. Before Yang became Mica’s older brother, he was a member of another family, loved someone, and missed his loved ones.
 Yang recorded a wide range of memories from trivial daily life to footage of his sister, Mica. Jake appreciated his family’s daily life through Yang’s eyes and totally understood Yang himself. The family finally sent off their precious family member, Yang, and will no doubt, remember him fondly. 
 The movie was a kind of SF, but different from other SF movies. It utilized calm images rather than showy visual effects and attempted to describe the emotional perspective of the robot. In the film, there wasn’t any combat between humans and robots, but instead, the daily normal life of a family. From this perspective, it seemed like the film director showed us the friendly coexistence of AI and humans. In addition, the family was able to understand AI through its calm memories.
 Yang was intellegent enough to nurture humans, but he just kept several calm moments in his life. He archived happy or sad moments and even his own image, and they showed a series of his lifetime. Jake watched all of them and viewed Yang’s life as a human one, not just mechanical records. I also realized that in this movie the memory of AI was not very different from humans because Yang recorded images without any special criteria, like the way we remember things so  scatteringly. He did not save them as computational codes but remembered them as images themselves, so I thought this is why Jake could understand Yang’s view and accepted him as part of his family. It was impressive that Jake understood Yang by retracing Yang's memory, not his point of view and it interestinly described how to accept each other and live successfully together.
 Moreover, it was noticeable that family members were all different races: African, Caucasian, Chinese, and Android. As Mica pondered over her roots, Yang explained how everyone could be harmonized by likening it to seedling grafting. Through this, it showed that although people have different backgrounds, they could be a family if we embrace each other's different perspectives. Developing an identity through such a process was impressive.
 Overall, After Yang shows AI as life through fragments of narrative memories. It was interesting to make the audience understand this while viewing it from the perspective or through the eyes of AI. In this process, it was touching to use warm visual beauty and useful to learn how to understand AI or others and live together in harmony.