EX_MACHINA Source Code [cameos & easter eggs]


Watched Alex Garland’s EX_MACHINA last night with my dad. It is an incredibly controlled piece of storytelling that addresses the notion of human and machine interaction like no film before has. EX_MACHINA is good. And for an extra bit of geekiness for those who enjoy going beyond what is meets the eye, you may find pleasure in knowing EX_MACHINA has quite possibly the geekiest easter-egg in movie history.

Source Code in TV and Films - Ex Machina


In the film, (no spoilers so don’t worry) the protagonist accesses a computer’s source code, and this source code flashes on-screen (within a computer screen) for a few short seconds (above image). This code looks like your regular, random HTML jargon that many movies and TV shows make up just for the visual look of it. Except, if you transfer and run EX_MACHINA’s source code in python2.7, which is a programming language, it results in a ISBN (International Standard Book Number); “ISBN = 9780199226559″

What is an ISBN? An ISBN is assigned to each edition and variation (except reprintings) of a book. A universal cataloging number basically for all books.

So what was the book the number referred to? The ISBN was for “Embodiment and the Inner Life: Cognition and Consciousness in the Space of Possible Minds” written by Murray Shanahan, a professor in cognitive robotics at Imperial College, who was also called upon to be EX_MACHINA’s scientific advisor. A clever nod, don’t you think?

Embodiment and the Inner Life-Cognition and Consciousness in the Space of Possible Minds

See, I told you; “geekiest easter-egg in movie history” ever.

The first person who actually discovered this ISBN goes by the Reddit handle of Infintie_3ntropy. He has new-found, self-proclaimed respect for director Alex Garland now, and all it took was an incredibly obscure screen grab of genuine source coding.


~ by Fionnlagh on May 22, 2015.

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