From the subjective perspective, the number of documentaries about the subject Artificial Intelligence and robotics is small. It seems, that the topic is hard to visualize for the audience and in most cases, the assumption is, that the recipient isn't familiar with computers at all. I've found the following documentaries:

  • The Computer Chronicles - Artificial Intelligence (1985)
  • The Machine That Changed the World (1991), Episode IV, The Thinking Machine
  • Robots Rising (1998)
  • Rodney's Robot Revolution (2008)

The subjective awareness is, that the quality of the films in the 1980s was higher than in modern documentaries, and in 50% of the documentaries Rodney Brooks is the host. Are more documentaries available which can be recommended to watch?

Focus on non-fictional documentaries

Some fictional movies were already mentioned in a different post. For example Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970), Bladerunner (1982) or A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001). They are based on fictional characters which doesn't exist and the presented robots are running with a Hollywood OS. This question is only about nonfictional motion pictures.


2 Answers 2


The documentary Plug & Pray (2010), directed and written by Jens Schanze, with main protagonists Joseph Weizenbaum (the creator of ELIZA) and the futurist Raymond Kurzweil, is about the promise, problems and ethics of artificial intelligence and robotics. This documentary won several awards, including the Bavarian Film Award 2010 for "best documentary". Here's the official trailer of the movie.


AlphaGo (2017) is quite a good watch, given that it is a documentary about the AlphaGo program, how DeepMind developed it, the help they had, and doesn't get too technical. You can watch the trailer here.

Another documentary which wasn't exactly AI but something that is an interesting watch or at least was when it came out was The Human Face of Big Data.


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