Beauty Standards and AI of ‘The Twilight Zone’ is Our Future


Alexandra Davis

In “The Twilight Zone” episode “The Lateness of the Hour,” the audience is introduced to the Loren family. Dr. William Loren, the patriarch, is surrounded by his wife, Mrs. Loren, his daughter, Jana, and a team of servants. You quickly learn that the family has not left their mansion in several years.

Jana, their only child, seems to be quite assertive. She is not pleased with the idea that she will never be allowed to leave the house. She also has a very negative opinion about her servants.

The audience is told the servants are actually robots that look like humans who seem to be programmed to do specific tasks around the house. She orders her father to destroy the robots so they can lead a normal life.

When her father is reluctant to destroy the machines, you learn that Jana is also an inhuman piece of technology. Her father and mother were unable to have children, so they created a robot daughter. Jana was completely unaware she was not human.

This made her question everything she thought she knew. At the end of the episode, she is performing the same tasks as the maids, meaning her family reprogrammed her to be one of their servants.

The article The Benefits and Risks of Artificial Intelligence suggest that humanlike AI could be a possibility in the year 2060. This should make us wonder if we can develop relationships with robots. Can we trust them? Will they think on their own?

In the TZ episode “Number 12 Looks Just Like You,” the audience meets a young woman named Martha and her mother, Lana. This episode is set in a dystopian society. When you reach adulthood here, you must undergo surgery to transform into an ideal person who looks like a model. Out of only a few options, you choose which model you would rather look like.

In the article Rod Serling’s “The Twilight Zone” remains startingly relevant almost 60 years after its debut, the author suggests that Martha undergoes therapy to persuade her to undergo the transformation. It also suggests she has been brainwashed. You can clearly see her personally change when she comes out of surgery. She looks at her friend Val and says, “And the nicest part of it all, Val. I look just like you.”

In modern society, it is not out of the norm to get plastic surgery. Plastic surgery was not as big of a trend then as it is now. Many young women are faced daily with the pressure to meet beauty standards.

Applications such as Instagram have algorithms that promote pictures with more likes. Many Instagram models have millions of followers and receive thousands of photo likes. It is becoming increasingly difficult to compare yourself to these unrealistic objects of perfection. Now, with medical advancements, it is much easier to morph into whoever you wish to be.

The potential of artificial intelligence in the year 2060, according to some experts, is a   possibility. Advancements in plastic surgery have encouraged unrealistic beauty standards. Things people thought were only possible in “The Twilight Zone” are in our present.

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