MIMI, 21min., Vietnam, Horror
Directed by Lam Vissay
MIMI, an AI smart device, goes rogue after connecting to the brain waves of its owner.
We live in a world where smartphones have become essential in our everyday lives. Technology addiction is on the rise and instances where individuals have valued their phones over other human beings are becoming increasingly common (I recall watching a viral YouTube video where a white woman wrongly accused a black teenager of stealing her phone, and then proceeded to physically assault him). For most people - and that definitely includes me - their eyes are glued to their phone screens from the moment they wake up to the moment they retire to sleep. It's quite fascinating to watch when you're an observer, as I have been many times when I go out to cafes and find myself looking at the people around me. They are sitting and chatting, but the majority aren't looking at each other. They are staring at their phones while talking to each other. Although humans are social creatures, we're slowly losing our "touch" and social interactions now take place in chat rooms, virtual meetings and over the phone. I've always wanted to make a film that deals with this issue; though depending on who you ask, there may not be one at all.
The film I want to make will not judge whether this is the right or wrong way to live, but to convey through a visual medium of how technology has impacted our lives and how dependent we are on everyday devices such as smartphones. I currently use Amazon's Alexa Echo, a smart speaker AI device, that lets me listen to a German radio station in Vietnam to ease my homesickness. I also use this device to switch and dim my lights and set up my alarms with vocal commands. I've always been impressed by today's technology and use it frequently. But one day, my internet connection was temporarily lost and my AI device ceased to function. In that brief moment of having no AI to receive my instructions, I almost felt helpless. Alexa did not react to my voice or suddenly went on in the middle of the night and gave me answers to questions I never asked. That was a creepy moment when it turned on itself. Though, the moment passed and the device turned back on again. A light bulb sparked above my head. I had an idea for a film.