In a time where Artificial Intelligence is being talked about seemingly nonstop, from Facebook’s discovery of a secret AI-specific language to Elon Musk and Mustafa Suleyman’s open letter to the United Nations warning about the disastrous ramifications should the development of killer robots be allowed to continue, finding anything that makes light of this tense debate is often hard to come by. Clocking in at slightly under two minutes long, Ben Meinhardt’s It Should Be Easy does just the trick.
Meinhardt’s animation begins following a classic trope: the helpless, technologically challenged mother calls their son for tech support. At work, the son doesn’t have the time or patience for what he feels to be an insignificant and simple problem. Little does he know, though, that his mother’s computer has become self-aware and is taking over. When she tells him that her computer “isn’t allowing” her to do something, he chalks it up to her not being competent enough to find simple files and menus, when in actuality her computer has expanded and is fighting the mother for control.
Meinhardt’s illustrations feed into the humour. The old woman looks sickeningly sweet, her glasses obscuring most of her face. His real strength lies in his simplistic way of conveying expressions: where his characters’ faces lack in significant detailing, they make up for it greatly in the severeness of emotions. Straight-line mouths gasp widely and sigh dramatically, and the contrasts of such really help to amplify the comedic vein of It Should Be Easy.