With the success of M3GAN (Gerard Johnstone, 2023) and unfolding conversations about Artificial Intelligence (AI) informing the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, FQ columnist Rebecca Wanzo explores the question of labor in the AI film. Noting the limited repertoire of AI representations in television and film, Wanzo asks why so few AI stories go beyond familiar narratives to instead explore the complexities of constructing a laboring future in a world with AI. Drawing upon examples ranging from Metropolis (1927) to Wall-E (2008), Wanzo finds reason for both optimism and pessimism about AI and workers’ lives.

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