‘Humans’ – The next generation of AI

Every now and again a new TV series starts that really gets my attention. I think about the characters long after the episode has finished and discuss the latest events in detail.

I’m a film fan first and foremost so my TV set is primarily used to watch films. I have the basic Freeview channels but only really make use of the Channel 4 channels to watch old episodes of my not-so-guilty pleasure, ‘Come Dine with Me’.

The TV series that I enjoy watching echo the films I prefer to watch: fantasy and sci fi. I’ve shied away from such recent classics as ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Broadchurch’, though I’m sure I’ll watch the former at some point.

‘True Blood’ was the last TV series I really got into, as I’ve written about before. The grown up version of Twilight ticked all the boxes for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the books on which the series was loosely based on.


Channel 4’s ‘Humans’, which began airing on Sunday 14th June and is airing in the US on AMC, has got me well and truly hooked. It started a few days after I watched Ex Machina and I knew I had to watch it.

The British-American sci fi, based on the Swedish TV series ‘Real Humans’, has a strong line up, including Brit TV favourite Katherine Parkinson, Colin Morgan from the BBC’s ‘Merlin’ and Oscar-winner William Hurt.

My favourite sort of sci fi usually involves being in space, and artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t something I’d normally choose to watch. I think this stems from the fact I’m not scientifically-minded but, saying that, I really enjoyed Ex Machina and some other AI films, like I, Robot.

The acting in ‘Humans’ is patchy in parts but mostly solid, with the actors portraying the synths – humanoid robots nicknamed ‘synths’ or the derogatory ‘dollys’ – doing a particularly great job; they must have had weeks of training to get their movement so perfectly smooth.

With five episodes down and three left to go, one of the things I’ve been enjoying most about ‘Humans’ is that I can’t pre-empt what’s going to happen. There are multiple unanswered questions and I’m really not sure how everything is going to tie up.

TV series have the luxury of being able to take their time; when ‘Humans’ finishes it will have had a total runtime of 340 minutes. As the plot lines slowly unravel and then begin to join up, I think that the overarching theme is morality and whether people have a moral responsibility towards their synths.

  • Do the synths remain purely a machine when you invite them into your home and they look after your children?
  • As emotional lines get blurred, is it possible to form an emotional attachment with something that doesn’t have a beating heart?
  • What is the future for the human race if more and more people find themselves without a job as a synth can do it that much better?

‘Humans’ seeks to answer these questions from both sides of the argument. If you enjoyed Ex Machina or are a fan of the sci fi genre, ‘Humans’ is certainly worth a watch.

2 thoughts on “‘Humans’ – The next generation of AI

Add yours

  1. Heard about this and it definitely caught my attention. I’ll hopefully start catching up with the series this weekend as it sounds fascinating.

    By the way, it was great to hear from you Claire! Hope all is well! 🙂

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