Below is an overview of the most interesting documentaries and short films on creativity, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Documentary films on artificial intelligence can sometimes be illuminating, scary, and exciting. The list below covers all of those while painting a picture of what artificial intelligence is, how it works, what it is doing and what is is capable of doing in the future. These films also include thoughts and opinions on all the excitement and doom and gloom artificial intelligence naturally attracts. So if you are looking to watch something short or long that brings you up to speed of what is happening in the world of artificial intelligence and creativity then look no further. These AI documentaries and short films are sure to make you stop, think and maybe even reconsider your view of the future.

Artificial Intelligence & Creativity: The Drum Documentary

Duration: 16 minutes

In a quest to understand the role of artificial intelligence in advertising, The Automation of Creativity, shot in Tokyo, London and Amsterdam explores how artificial intelligence is beginning to impact the creativity of advertising and the role of human creatives. To date, artificial intelligence machines have been able to write poetry, drive cars and there is even talk of a machine possibly winning a Pulitzer one day. The film discusses the impact of the automation of creativity on humans working in the ad industry. The films also stars the world’s first artificial intelligence creative director, AI-CD, and features the story of the The Next Rembrandt, and the world’s first AI advert, a digital outdoor poster for a made-up coffee brand.

Watch the full video here.




Duration: 90 minutes

Synopsis: On March 9, 2016, the worlds of Go and artificial intelligence collided in South Korea. The best-of-five-game competition, coined The DeepMind Challenge Match, pitted a legendary Go master against an AI program that was still learning to play the world’s most complex board game. AlphaGo chronicles a journey from the backstreets of Bordeaux, past the coding terminals of Google DeepMind in London, and, ultimately, to the seven-day tournament in Seoul. As the drama unfolds before an audience of over 200 million viewers worldwide, more questions emerge: What can artificial intelligence reveal about a 3000-year-old game? What will it teach us about humanity?

Watch the full video on Netflix.



Do You Trust This Computer

Duration: 78 minutes

Synopsis: Science fiction has long anticipated the rise of machine intelligence. Today, a new generation of self-learning computers has begun to reshape every aspect of our lives. Incomprehensible amounts of data are being created, interpreted, and fed back to us in a tsunami of apps, personal assistants, smart devices, and targeted advertisements. Virtually every industry on earth is experiencing this transformation, from job automation, to medical diagnostics, even military operations. Do You Trust This Computer?  explores the promises and perils of our new era. Will A.I. usher in an age of unprecedented potential, or prove to be our final invention?

Watch the full video on Vimeo.



Lo And Behold, Reveries of the Connected World

Duration: 98 minutes

Synopsis: Oscar-nominated documentarian Werner Herzog chronicles the virtual world from its origins to its outermost reaches, exploring the digital landscape with the same curiosity and imagination he previously trained on earthly destinations. Herzog leads viewers on a journey through a series of provocative conversations that reveal the ways in which the online world has transformed how virtually everything in the real world works – from business to education, space travel to healthcare, and the very heart of how we conduct our personal relationships.

Watch the full video on Netflix.



PBS NOVA: Rise of the Robots

Duration: 88 minutes

Synopsis: Machines are everywhere. They run our factory assembly lines and make our coffee. But humanoid robots—machines with human-like capabilities—have long been the stuff of science fiction. Until now. Fueled by an ambitious DARPA challenge, the race is on to design a robot that can replace humans in disaster relief situations. Follow the robots and the engineers that program them as they strive to make their way out of the lab and into the real world. But how capable are they, really? How close are we to a future where humanoid robots are part of our everyday lives? And what will the future look like with robots that can do a human’s job? NOVA investigates the cutting-edge technologies that are advancing robotics—and the enormous challenges that robots still face.

Watch the full video here.



Open Source Stories: Road to AI

Duration: 17 minutes

Synopsis: How do you teach a car to drive? For many self-driving car makers and artificial intelligence researchers, the answer starts with data and sharing. Hear from luminaries from the world of artificial intelligence including: Chris Nicholson, CEO of Skymind; Liam Paull, founder of Duckietown; Karl Iagnemma, CEO and co-founder of nuTonomy; Mary “Missy” Cummings, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University; and Francois Chollet, AI researcher and author of Keras.

Watch the full video here.



The Human Robot

Duration: 49 minutes

Synopsis: How scared do we actually have to be for smart and social robots? If you ask western people what they think about robots, they are rather reluctant or even a little scared to answer. In Japan it’s completely the opposite, the Japanese love robots. In Japan, all objects – including the robots – have a ‘soul’. This means that in Japan human robots, or intelligent robots will be accepted much easier than in the West. In this VPRO Backlight story director Rob van Hattum investigates the frameworks that determine the boundaries of how we see smart and social robots.

View the full film here.



BBC: Can Artificial Intelligence Create Art?

Duration: 25 minutes

Synopsis: BBC Click looks at whether AI could ever create an artistic masterpiece and visits Bangladesh to find out how technology is being used to help farmers there.

View the full film here.



Smartest Machine on Earth

Duration: 54 minutes

Synopsis: Jeopardy! challenges even the best human minds. Can a computer win the game? “Watson,” an IBM computing system, is gearing up for a first-of-its-kind challenge—taking on human contestants on the game show Jeopardy! With a brain the size of 2,400 home computers and a database of about 10 million documents, will Watson be able to compute its way to victory? Win or lose, the difficulty of mimicking the human thought process with software is showing artificial-intelligence researchers that there’s more than one way to be “intelligent.”

View the full film here.



Humans Need Not Apply

Duration: 15 minutes

Synopsis: Is a robot going to replace you? There is a good chance the answer to that question is yes. Humans Need Not Apply is a 2014 short Internet video, directed, produced, written and edited by CGP Grey. The video focuses on the future of the integration of automation into economics, as well as the impact of this integration to the worldwide workforce.

View the full film here.

Your thoughts

Have you already watched any of these artificial intelligence documentaries? If so leave a comment letting us know which artificial intelligence documentary is your favorite one. Did I miss anything? If you think there is a great artificial intelligence documentary that I need to include in this list please let us know by leaving a comment down below!


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Posted by Dirk Dallas

Dirk Dallas holds an M.F.A in Graphic Design and Visual Experience from Savannah College of Art and Design. In addition to being a designer, he is also a writer, speaker, educator & the founder of CreativeFuture & From Where I Drone. See what he is up to over on Twitter via @dirka.

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