Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-31-2019, 08:30 PM
smiling bandit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 16,953

Correct/Confirm me on Avengers: Age of Ultron


It's an older movie, but I'll add some spoiler space for mouseover. Open spoilers down below.














***

SO, while it's been a few years since the movie came out, one of the big themes of the Avengers line since Iron Man is that Tony Stark has a huge guilt complex. My view has always been that he feels the most guilt, not for the mistakes he's made, but for the ones he failed to prevent. The cause doesn't necessarily matter: it might have been a momentary mistake under pressure or something where he just didn't, and couldn't, have the knowledge or resources to stop it.

Avengers: Age of Ultron was always the event that most exemplified this for me, and it's worth noting that the movie set up his character arc through the rest of the Avengers series, from Captain America: Civil War to Endgame. (The movie itself was good but felt rushed, as if the script needed just a bit of polish.)

Here is my question, though. One area where I had a bit of difference with most people and plot synopses is that most people put all the evil of Ultron directly at Tony's feet. My understanding from watching the movie is that Tony was designing a basically peaceful security system. It was certainly a risk and there's a lot of questions about where this would go (just imagine if the U.N. got their hands on the Ultron Army).

However! Tony never intentionally gave Ultron intelligence, let alone the malicious intelligence it gained. That was due to the Mind Stone. As far as I can understand, Tony was thinking, "Hey, this thing is amazing - I bet I can create a true AI if I examine it." He, however, had no idea what the stone was, and in fact probably nobody on Earth at the time knew except the early-movie villain (Strucker, FYI).

The problem, if I understand events correctly, was that Tony was thinking about making an AI. And, well, it's the Mind stone and Tony left two Expert Systems, Ultron and Jarvis, connected the same network he was using the decipher the Mind Stone. Tony was as shocked as anyone when Ultron suddenly showed up. So yes, Ultron was his "fault," but only in a roundabout way that he could not possibly have prevented without foreknowledge. Yes, Tony has a tendency to not take sane precautions but, well, he's sort of working on the bleeding edge of technology beyond what even far more advanced cultures can accomplish. (Pun intended.)

Am I right in my interpretation of these scenes, or did I miss something pretty major?

Incidentally, I liked that part of Tony's characterization was that he felt the guilt over all of this - and that a lot of people were more than willing to put the blame for their own misdeeds on Tony, and that still other people wanted to blame Tony because he was there with his $3,000 dollar suit and smug smile. A sizeable portion of Marvel villains are people trying to attack Tony Stark directly or indirectly for things which were either not his fault at all, or which were 100% justified. I find this vaguely hilarious.
  #2  
Old 07-31-2019, 08:43 PM
Miller's Avatar
Miller is offline
Sith Mod
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Bear Flag Republic
Posts: 44,254
I haven't seen the movie since it was in theaters, but my impression was similar to yours. Tony seemed more to have "found" Ultron than "created" him
  #3  
Old 07-31-2019, 09:00 PM
D_Odds is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Queens
Posts: 12,758
Yeah, Tony realized that what he was doing was dangerous after the fact. And then he comes up with the solution, along with the DoD, and tries to force it on everyone else. Because it's Tony's solution, it must be right, because Tony doesn't make mistakes. Like working simultaneously with AI and with a foreign, unearthly power vastly more powerful than the AI. Not a mistake, not a predictable outcome, unless, say, one has seen Terminator.(/s) Tony's blind spots are equivalent to his intelligence.
__________________
The problem with political jokes is that they get elected

Last edited by D_Odds; 07-31-2019 at 09:01 PM.
  #4  
Old 07-31-2019, 09:25 PM
Zakalwe's Avatar
Zakalwe is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,976
Been a while since I've since that particular flick, but doesn't Banner warn him, right as they're talking about doing it, that what Tony is suggesting is foolhardy at best and downright dangerous at worst?
  #5  
Old 07-31-2019, 09:44 PM
D_Odds is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Queens
Posts: 12,758
I think he does, but it doesn't matter. Tony doesn't understand "no". Tony has idea, Tony implements idea, everyone else's opinion be damned. Tony thought it was his job alone to protect the Earth, so he has a satellite drone delivery system capable of reigning unimaginable damage down anywhere he wants (and with no safeguards against using lethal force). How the hell is this a good idea? Do you think he asked anyone, got permission from anyone, or even vetted the idea with anyone? Of course not. Tony's heart is (most often) in the right place, but his head has almost never been.
  #6  
Old 07-31-2019, 10:10 PM
Little Nemo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 81,977
Stark's flaw was classic hubris. Knowledgeable people had warned him that the infinity stones were dangerous and he shouldn't mess with them. But he was convinced that he was so smart that he could figure out their secrets and keep them under control.
  #7  
Old 07-31-2019, 11:02 PM
smiling bandit is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 16,953
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
Stark's flaw was classic hubris. Knowledgeable people had warned him that the infinity stones were dangerous and he shouldn't mess with them. But he was convinced that he was so smart that he could figure out their secrets and keep them under control.
It has been some time since I saw it, so I could be wrong. However, I don't think they knew it was the Mind Stone - and at that point I think only Thor had any idea what those even were. Wasn't it during the events of the movie that he realized that someone (Thanos) was probably setting the pieces in motion? They only knew this was a part of Loki's Scepter, and assumed it was locked up until they discovered Strucker had it.
  #8  
Old 08-01-2019, 12:48 AM
Little Nemo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 81,977
Quote:
Originally Posted by smiling bandit View Post
It has been some time since I saw it, so I could be wrong. However, I don't think they knew it was the Mind Stone - and at that point I think only Thor had any idea what those even were. Wasn't it during the events of the movie that he realized that someone (Thanos) was probably setting the pieces in motion? They only knew this was a part of Loki's Scepter, and assumed it was locked up until they discovered Strucker had it.
That was the point; they didn't know exactly what it was - just that it was very dangerous. Stark wasn't thinking "It's okay. I know what this object is capable of and I have a plan for dealing with it." No, he was thinking "I don't know what this object can do. But it doesn't matter. I'm so smart that whatever it can do, I'll be able to figure out what it's doing and be able to figure out a plan to stop it before it does it."
  #9  
Old 08-02-2019, 01:45 AM
MrDibble's Avatar
MrDibble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 26,105
Ultron in a server unconnected to the 'net would be no threat. Tony is the one who thought putting a strange AI found in a stone into his "global defence system" was a good idea. He deserves all the blame.

Actually, he deserves blame just for creating the global "defence" system in the first place, even if it wasn't AI-run. That kind of shit always lands in the wrong hands. Always. See: CA:WS and S-M:FFH...
  #10  
Old 08-02-2019, 08:15 AM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 84,774
Certainly, Ultron resulted from influence/corruption/whatever from the Mind Stone. But it'd never occurred to me before that it happened because Stark wanted to create an AI, and the Stone picked up on that. In retrospect, it makes a lot of sense, and I'll be keeping an eye out for that if I ever happen to re-watch it.

I'm still not entirely sure why Jarvis/Vision ended up good while Ultron ended up evil, despite both gaining their sentience in basically the same way, though.
  #11  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:23 AM
cmkeller's Avatar
cmkeller is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 13,433
Chronos:

Quote:
I'm still not entirely sure why Jarvis/Vision ended up good while Ultron ended up evil, despite both gaining their sentience in basically the same way, though.
But they didn't gain sentience the same way. Ultron was the consciousness that was already in the Mind Stone when the Avengers took the sceptre (who knows how it got there, but if it's at all influenced by its prior wielders, those were Hydra, Loki and Thanos), and was then extracted from it into its robotic body (or bodies). Jarvis was programmed by the non-evil Tony Stark, and used the Mind Stone's resources, but the prior consciousness was already extracted, so Jarvis's benign programming made the Vision good.
__________________
"Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible. The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks."
-- Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective
  #12  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:14 AM
enalzi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 8,089
Ultron was essentially a newborn with one directive: protect the world. He immediately accessed the internet and saw the only thing threatening the world was humans.
  #13  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:18 AM
DigitalC is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Obamatopia
Posts: 11,134
I think everyone forgets that Tony was mind controlled by Wanda at the time, so he was not thinking straight.
  #14  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:20 AM
Jack Burden is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Southtown
Posts: 290
Tony created Ultron after being profoundly impacted by the vision that Wanda planted in his mind in the raid on Strucker’s facility; Wanda’s powers were created by the Mind Stone resident in Loki’s staff. So Tony’s hubris is indeed to blame, in that his failure to keep it in check left him vulnerable to the Mind Stone’s influence. This would never have worked on Steve or even Bruce who have the sense to listen to their inner voice of reason. OTOH, that same hubris allows Tony to push through and create The Vision, without whom they couldn’t defeat Ultron.

Last edited by Jack Burden; 08-02-2019 at 10:21 AM. Reason: Ninja’d
  #15  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:24 AM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 84,774
Ultron's personality was also based on Stark's programming, too, though. I don't think the Mind Stone is itself sapient-- It's the thing that governs sapience, and so it being sapient would probably be paradoxical. But it can cause other things to become sapient.
  #16  
Old 08-02-2019, 10:27 AM
glee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Obama country
Posts: 15,546

Hope this is correct...


Quote:
Originally Posted by cmkeller View Post
Ultron was the consciousness that was already in the Mind Stone when the Avengers took the sceptre (who knows how it got there, but if it's at all influenced by its prior wielders, those were Hydra, Loki and Thanos), and was then extracted from it into its robotic body (or bodies). Jarvis was programmed by the non-evil Tony Stark, and used the Mind Stone's resources, but the prior consciousness was already extracted, so Jarvis's benign programming made the Vision good.
I thought that Ultron was originally a computer program created by Tony Stark and Bruce Banner.
They couldn't make it work as a global defence until they found the Sceptre containing the Mind Stone.
Combining the Mind Stone, Ultron and Jarvis created Ultron.
(Later there was a much better version - Vision.)
  #17  
Old 08-02-2019, 11:04 AM
KneadToKnow is offline
Voodoo Adult (Slight Return)
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA
Posts: 26,496
Quote:
Originally Posted by enalzi View Post
Ultron was essentially a newborn with one directive: protect the world. He immediately accessed the internet and saw the only thing threatening the world was humans.
Exactly. It's the classic Literal Genie trope of asking the genie for peace on earth only to have everyone on the planet vanish. See also Nomad and V'Ger from Star Trek.

Last edited by KneadToKnow; 08-02-2019 at 11:05 AM.
  #18  
Old 08-02-2019, 03:13 PM
cmkeller's Avatar
cmkeller is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 13,433
Chronos:

Quote:
Ultron's personality was also based on Stark's programming, too, though. I don't think the Mind Stone is itself sapient-- It's the thing that governs sapience, and so it being sapient would probably be paradoxical.
I'd forgotten that Tony had created the Ultron program, but I thought I'd recalled Tony and Bruce saying that the mind stone seemed to have an intelligence within it. I could be wrong, though, I haven't watched it in a while. Maybe the programming was purely Tony's.
__________________
"Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible. The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks."
-- Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective
  #19  
Old 08-02-2019, 03:15 PM
enalzi is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 8,089
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmkeller View Post
Chronos:



I'd forgotten that Tony had created the Ultron program, but I thought I'd recalled Tony and Bruce saying that the mind stone seemed to have an intelligence within it. I could be wrong, though, I haven't watched it in a while. Maybe the programming was purely Tony's.
They do. They found the scepter had a "brain", that looked like a much more complex version of Jarvis's. That's why they decide to use it to build Ultron.
  #20  
Old 08-16-2019, 01:22 AM
AK84 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 16,332
For an Avengers movie, Age of Ultron sure is forgettable.
  #21  
Old 08-16-2019, 02:41 AM
MrDibble's Avatar
MrDibble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 26,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by DigitalC View Post
I think everyone forgets that Tony was mind controlled by Wanda at the time, so he was not thinking straight.
He wasn't mind controlled when he created the Ultron system in the first place.
  #22  
Old 08-16-2019, 08:49 AM
Dale Sams is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,078
I want to point out The Sokovia Accords don't work cause:

1. The Avengers are just supposed to sit on their hands until the U Fucking N gets its shit together and votes and meet and talk and then finally made a decision.

2. Yeah....because a GOVERNMENT in charge of The Avengers is such a good idea.
  #23  
Old 08-16-2019, 09:20 AM
Chronos's Avatar
Chronos is offline
Charter Member
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: The Land of Cleves
Posts: 84,774
Welcome to Team Steve.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:29 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017