Ex Machina, the great erotic robo-thriller from 28 Days Later writer Alex Garland, is one of those movies where everything feels meaningful. Nothing has been placed on screen haphazardly or without purpose, including random bits of barely glimpsed computer code.
At one point, we briefly see this bit of code on Oscar Isaac’s computer…
In the vast majority of movies, this code wouldn’t mean anything. Just another version the movie professor standing in front of a giant chalkboard covered with Xs and Ys that add up to nothing. Well, Ex Machina is smarter than most movies.
If you run the code through the Python programming language, you get the following number: 9780199226559. Turns out, that’s the ISBN number for Embodiment and the Inner Life: Cognition and Consciousness in the Space of Possible Minds, a book about consciousness and artificial intelligence. The writer of the book, Murray Shanahan, was an adviser on Ex Machina.
So, that is some clever sh*t, yo. I have a feeling this isn’t the only Easter egg buried in Ex Machina. Maybe that painting was actually one of those Magic Eye things [squints].