Critical Summary of Metal Head

Back Ground Information

The paper presents a film analysis of an episode in the series black mirror, a movie based on science fiction. A summary of the film is shown herein as well. The paper also analyzes and reflects on the relevance of the film themes. It is right from the movie that artificial intelligence might result in harm to humanity in the future.

Film Summary

Black Mirror is a sci-fi anthology series produced by Charlie Brooker (Netflix, 2019). It presents a modern society in the context of the consequences of emerging technologies. The episodes in the series are stand-alone, often carrying a dark and heavy satirical tone (Havens, 2016).  Other liberal productions of modern times inspire the series. Metalhead is the fifth episode in the fourth series. The film is produced entirely in black and white. It presents the collapse of human society and the emergence of robots.  The episode has an elaborate and straightforward plot. In the film, Bella, Anthony and Clarke get to a warehouse in search of a solution to the medical condition that Jack was going through.  When they reach the warehouse and get a carton containing the medication they need, they find a robotic guard dog. The robotic dog shoots Anthony and kills him instantly (Havens, 2016).  Clarke and belle flee back to the car. The dog jumps and kills Clarke and then proceeds to drive the car. It follows Bella to the cliff. In this case, it is evident that artificial technology is helpful to human beings because it has helped the owner of the house in safeguarding the home.

Critical Analysis

The message of the episode Metalhead is debatable in regards to artificial intelligence (AI). Artificial intelligence involves the use of machines including computerized ones to do things on behalf of human beings or those beyond human capability. The artificial intelligence presented in the film is human inspired. The film is tailored at depicting to the viewer the problem where artificial intelligence based objects may become erratic in the future and become difficult to control.

In the film, a robotic guard dog is presented.  The film presents the downside of artificial intelligence (Frosh, 2019). Unlike real human beings who tend to have emotions, AI creatures and machines lack emotions.  They lack empathy. For instance, while a human guard may notice that the culprit is in pain and remorseful, the same is impossible when it comes to robotic dogs (Spotnitz, Wolfman, Munch, Denham, Dukeshire, Carter, &WildStormProductions, 2009).  They would do what they are programmed to do in spite of the emotional condition of the victim. The film has multiple implications in modern life. More than once, a collapse of computer systems in airplanes or banks has been witnessed bringing operations into a halt. If this were to occur permanently, it would have devastating effects on humanity.

The show has been used in reminding humanity that the elements that we possess as human beings may be lost in the future to non-human objects. The innovations may lead us to dystopian hellscape.  In such a scenario, the humanity we enjoy may be lost entirely.   It thus acts as a caution on people in regards to the technologies that they adopt. The film is not far-fetched (Frosh, 2019). It is evident that there been scenarios where technology taken by humanity has been the principal source of their extinction. Recent air crashes that have led to deaths of many people indicate that while human beings may have control on technological equipment and machines, they may fail at times. When they fail, it may result in drastic impacts on humanity (Heylin, 2010). This implies that as human beings invent and innovate the focus should not be on the positive aspects of such technologies alone. Instead, even the negative issues associated with such techniques should be considered.

In the episode metal head, it is evident that the film has showcased multiple challenges associated with the use of modern technology. The problem of the film is that it does not provide even the slightest hint to humanity on how it may avoid such dangerous technological end. Nevertheless, the film presents a very real cause for worry among human beings.

In this review, the Gettysburg paragraph approach has been employed in the evaluation. The first assessed element is the state of the world before the application of artificial intelligence. Before AI is employed, human beings have been relying on their brains in decision making. They also use their hands and other body parts in the execution of tasks. In the movie, instead of using an actual dog as the guard, a robotic dog is used. Unlike the real dogs that may be affected by human emotions and threats, the dog is not threatened by the same, and hence it ends up killing everyone (Whelan, 2008).  The second element evaluated in the film is the current situation. It is evident that the use of robots is prevalent in many parts of the world today. They are used in carrying out multiple tasks ranging from guarding people to manufacturing. While there is no threat of robots on humans today, there is a risk that there will be significant risks posed by such robots in the future (Ellison, & OverDrive, Inc. 2009). With the increasing levels of virus infections on computer systems, it is evident that such robots may be infected and defy human instructions. They may thus end up destroying humanity. The next aspect of the film that should be evaluated is the values under attack. In this film, human intelligence and feelings are under attack. It is evident that the development of artificial intelligence has been established in disregard of human intellect. The final element that should be evaluated in the film is the way forward. It is evident that the use of robots will intensify in the future. It is equally apparent that such robots may end up defying instructions. Artificial intelligence should thus be employed with caution (Cirucci, &Vacker, 2018). The development of objects and machinery based on artificial intelligence should be done only after a full retest of the applications and measures are taken in place to ensure that even if such systems defies instructions, they would be contained. Nevertheless, the episode does not provide solutions like this. Instead, it leaves the audience with a sense of despair regarding the future.


The episode metal head is a critical reflection on the challenges that society is likely to face as a result of investment in artificial intelligence. As the author indicates, while robots can execute tasks just as humans, they tend to lack emotions. They may thus not perform tasks with compassion as human beings would do (Chamayou, & Lloyd, 2015).  The episode equally indicates the risk of adopting artificial intelligence in the execution of tasks as opposed to relying on human beings.

In many cases, technology has proved to be a problem rather than a solution. For instance, when electronic applications in the robots are infected with viruses, it would be difficult to have control over them. In the episode, the robot dig ends up killing the thieves, and they lacked authority on it. If there are many such robots and gets out of control, chances of human extinction as a result of their attack is high. The adoption of artificial intelligence should thus be taken with caution if such intelligence is to result in the intended value addition to human activities (Brooker, 2018).  It is thus clear that human beings should respect the fact that human intelligence will never be replaced with artificial intelligence in totality.  Human beings should avoid, always avoid, and forever avoid replacing human intelligence with artificial intelligence and rather they should complement each other.


The Metalhead episode is a very insightful episode. While being the shortest in the series, it is clear that it has a clear message to its audience. While profoundly thrilling the audience, it has also triggered a thought on the impact that artificial intelligence is likely to have on society in the future. While artificial intelligence has significant benefits to humanity, it is evident that if it gets out of control, it is likely to have a devastating impact on understanding. As the episode indicates artificial beings may eventually destroy humanity, and they would be left with the world to rule.  The episode has thus made a significant contribution to the discourse on artificial intelligence.




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