Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

What Altered Carbon Fans Really Think About The A.I. Characters

For a show that lasted only two seasons before getting the ax at Netflix, the stylish sci-fi spectacular Altered Carbon continues to inspire one of the streamer's more fervid fandoms. And given the series' penchant for graphic sex and nudity, hyper-violent action, and high-minded narratives positing complex moral and ethical quandaries, Altered Carbon really did have something to offer anyone adventurous enough to stream it. 

Set in a far-distant future, Altered Carbon told the story of Takeshi Kovacs (played by Joel Kinnaman, Anthony Mackie, and Will Yun Lee at various stages), a former soldier whose consciousness is awakened from a centuries-long prison slumber to solve a tricky murder mystery. He does so in a future that he essentially fought against, where digitally-stored consciousnesses can be downloaded into new human "sleeves," making humanity more or less immortal.

Joining the pseudo-immortal men and women in Altered Carbon's not-quite dystopian future are a new race of beings, seemingly all-knowing A.I. programs who often display thoughts and personas as distinct as any human. Throughout the show's abbreviated run, Kovacs frequently enlisted the help of A.I. characters in the course of his investigations. And one of those artificial beings (Chris Conner's Edgar Allan Poe persona) ended up proving as vital to the action as Takeshi himself. In turn, Altered Carbon fans came to develop some very specific feelings toward Poe and the series' other A.I. creations. Here's what Altered Carbon fans really think about the A.I. characters.

Altered Carbon fans might love the A.I. characters more than the humans

Per a lively Reddit thread, it seems many Altered Carbon fans actually like the A.I. characters more than the human ones. That's particularly true of Poe, whose season 2 arc (where the centuries-old A.I. was forced to confront his own "mortality") was for some the best, most humanizing the series ever presented. Altered Carbon's A.I.-loving fans took to that Reddit thread to voice their adoration for how the show depicted not only Poe but all the artificial intelligence characters.

User Scubadude2 kicked things off by posting, "I think that was something that was really well done with season 2. Poe having to grapple with his apparent mortality and the fact that he doesn't have much time left, whereas the main characters we see all have some chance of being spun up again in the case of sleeve death, which makes the consequences for them a little less drastic." HazzMad agreed, claiming Poe's arc was devastating because it was so distinctly human: "Also his forgetting. That was g*****n heartbreaking. The first time he glitched in front of Digs and then is all flustered and asking what they were talking about? Dude that was the emotional high point of the show."

For droid327, Altered Carbon's A.I. beings were the only ones they really connected with. "It seems like they're the only ones that are capable of being hopeful and cheerful and decent – we naturally gravitate towards pleasant people." Redditor chaosindeep believes the A.I. characters serve as a stark counterpoint to the human ones, writing, "That's the entire point of Poe's character. Humanity has lived too long, they are no longer human." But BrokenCog2020 sums up Altered Carbon's A.I. effect best by stating simply, "They strive for what humanity has forgot." Poe couldn't have said it better himself.