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Is it true that originally humans were used as a neural network and not as batteries?

Is it true that originally humans were used as a neural network and not as batteries?

  • By - frzbr

Buffythedjsnare

I believe it was in an early script but was changed to batteries to make it a bit easier to grasp for general audiences.


th3cr1t1c

This is what I heard. Basically the Wachowskis said the studio was like, "We have no idea what we just bought but, great! Ok now here's a list of things to change because nobody can understand the script." Of course, I'm sure lots of people who aren't studio execs could understand the script with a few simple revisions but studio execs default to, "Make this dumb enough so I can understand it." What the production execs failed to grasp, though, is that by reducing them to batteries it upends the really fascinating reason to use humans and not just build a tower to install solar panels above the "scorched sky" or rebuild batteries from minerals buried in the earth or any number of more energy-efficient solutions than trying to use humans who produce more waste than we do kilojoules of energy. Using humans as the neural network makes a ton more sense and is more darkly poetic in that it underscores the main barrier to machine independence is the 3.5 billion years of evolution that led to prefrontal synthesis and higher consciousness and eventually the conceptualization of the integrated circuit. Humans mentally powering a digital prison of our own making is far more horrifying than being used as batteries.


dr_zoidberg590

This commment says it all, imo


Xfifteen

One thought I had was that somewhere is the deepest code of the machines, hard baked into the firmware is that they need their creator. What if Neo is the creator? He could be hundreds of years old, reborn 7 times and rebuilt. If Neo dies, the machines have no purpose. Every person in the matrix is there for him, to give him a world to live in and be distracted. They have long since evolved past being simple servants, they’re self aware and built a complex machine society. Without Neo, they shut down, but a free Neo has full control over them, so they keep him in a deep sleep of the matrix.


MetalGhost99

Glad they didn't go that direction cause for a person who knows allot about electronics and programing the only hard baked etch is a physical hard baked etch in cpu's and memory. A new design can easily make that obsolete. Firmware is easy to change and replace and nothing in it is hard baked unless you don't have access to the code or where it is stored then it feels that way instead. For instance that's the big difference between ram and rom. Rom (read only memory) could not be changed since all its programming was hard etched into it. Which was useful cause you couldn't lose the information if the computer turned off or from a power outage unless the chip was fried. That would be a different story. Firmware is always software that is stored to help boot up the computer and give it its parameters so it functions optimally. See it as laws it must follow. Firmware is easy to change and manufacturers update firmware on computers now and then for us to download and install. This is something you don't have to do that often unless you get a new piece of hardware that the old firmware cannot communicate with and an update has been posted for you to download and install. You usually do this manually on your computer not like how windows updates. Firmware could be etched into a computer chip but that isn't a good way to build any machine or computer since it will become obsolete fast and you would have to trash it. Technology in PC's change so fast its good to check every two years to see if you need to update the firmware in your computer. If there was a hard coded law like that built into the machines then they would just design a new one that didn't have it. It would just require a new cpu or component that didn't have the law unlike the old one. At least this last part is my take on what would have happened if humans tried to hard bake a code into the machines to keep the machines from harming humans. Once machines create machines that hard code that's backed in becomes irrelevant.


BasicFootwear

Seriously good comment cr1t1c🤙🤙


[deleted]

Yep. I wonder did they still run with the idea in the background, though, when fleshing out the world in the sequels. Merv, the vampire bots, Rama Kandra...these all seem like examples of programs that have imbibed the memetics of human cultures. In creating and sustaining the matrix, the machines also essentially crafted a zoo of civilisations that plenty of programs decided "You know what, I want some of that."


Party-Permission

When were there vampires? I only remember werewolves.


BinSnozzzy

I believe the oracle talked about it, not that they were in the movies.


Fratboy37

Technically they are all of the Merovingian’s henchmen in *Reloaded*, holdovers from previous iterations of the Matrix, but you wouldn’t know that unless you played *Enter the Matrix* where they more explicitly reveal this.


Party-Permission

Ah yes, thanks, now I remember that.


WizardScrumps

The vampires actually were in it! Some of the Merovingian's henchmen were vampires. The one Persephone kills was one. She mentions her silver bullets before blasting him in the face. [https://matrix.fandom.com/wiki/Vamp](https://matrix.fandom.com/wiki/Vamp) They're exiles the Merovingian kept around since he was largely involved in the nightmare Matrix.


Party-Permission

I thought silver was for werewolves? And what's a nightmare matrix?


WizardScrumps

The nightmare matrix was the second Matrix. https://matrix.fandom.com/wiki/Nightmare_Matrix Had a bunch of fantasy creatures in it.


Hickman_Is

Nope!. You can read the 1996 screenplay online right now and Morpheus makes the battery comparison. You can even read the coverage to the 94 screenplay and it too allude to batteries. Humans were never processors. Always batteries. Congratulations you just help spread bull shit.


blickblocks

I saw a video interviewing one of the Wachowskis and she had said the studio pushed them to simplify the idea, which is why they went with the battery analogy.


amysteriousmystery

Nope, didn't happen.


Hickman_Is

Link it. Meanwhile I've looked at five years of scripts for The Matrix and it's no where to be found in any of them.


pasarocks

Ah so Morpheus was the one dumbing it down because he didn’t think Neo could understand it. So was like yeah “think of it like a battery” pointing at his head, looking at Neo like an idiot 😂


Hickman_Is

Actually you’re more or less correct. What Morpheus fully explains (but people gloss over) is that the body heat off humans is used along with a form of “fusion” that the Machines discovered. The pods act more like “spark plugs” than batteries. They’re even designed to look like spark plugs.


pasarocks

Yeah I think if it was just our natural input output of energy this would never have been attractive to them. It’s that they found a new type of biological energy which presumably humans not any other animal were best at which also means it was specifically important to have our brains 🧠 in that mix to give them what they needed.


killtr0city

Weren't they working on the script since the early 90's though?


Hickman_Is

Again, the studio coverage to the 94 script can be read in full. That is the earliest summary we have of the earliest written screenplay for The Matrix. A document meant to give feedback to producers and no where in it is the processor bit even mentioned.


WizardScrumps

What you're saying isn't wrong, but you're being downvoted for being a sassy sasquatch!


FriendGuy255

Any links to the 94 coverage? I've read the 96 screenplay but I'd be interested to get insight on an even older version.


Hickman_Is

https://i.redd.it/w1i8ppuwzao71.jpg


FriendGuy255

Fascinating! Thanks a bunch.


frzbr

Yeah that’s what I heard, but can’t see where the whole story originated. Nothing I can track down to Wachowskis, WB, or anyone involved with the films


DougFromFinance

Well, there are a lot of subtleties in the films as well as fan theories that fit the ‘humans as wetware’ concept. Yes, I’m aware that this isn’t definitive proof, but rather just pointing out that there is some credibility to it beyond just the rumor.


NoXion604

Even if the neural network thing wasn't originally part of the story, the idea of using humans as batteries or power sources is just such a monumentally idiotic idea. For the sake of my suspension of disbelief I have to imagine that the silly explanation we got was just because of Morpheus not being a technical guy himself, and/or not wanting to overwhelm the freshly-awakened Neo with too much.


suaveslav

Switch does call Neo "Coppertop" in the beginning of the first movie though, so it appears to be a common belief. But in my head canon this is just what the humans mistakenly believe, while in reality they are being used to provide processing power.


MetalGhost99

I think one of the issues with it is that they gave a small simple answer that was never expanded on to make it make more sense. You also have to understand that at first they didn't think they would be able to make a 2nd or third movie though they would have liked to. So the first movie was written with this in mind and was less complicated than 2 or 3. They didn't think the matrix well sell like it did. I far exceeded their expectations and that put them back in the office right away to start writing the 2nd and 3rd movie since the bigwigs gave that a greenlight. Before that the writers had an idea and a direction if they were given the opportunity to make more movies. This usually is how it works in Hollywood on new ideas, just getting the green light to make the first movie is a big step, and to see follow-up movies means that the first made allot of money and was worth making more of them.


FilthyMastodon

interview on the dvd set. they don't say the original plan was for humans as CPUs but that they had a different idea than batteries initially. The stuff is on youtube. also [https://web.archive.org/web/20040616032506/http://whatisthematrix.warnerbros.com/rl\_cmp/rl\_neil\_g.html](https://web.archive.org/web/20040616032506/http://whatisthematrix.warnerbros.com/rl_cmp/rl_neil_g.html) "Enemy missile took out a central processing unit," he said. "Two hundred thousand people, hooked up in parallel, blown to dead meat. We've got a mirror going of course, and we'll have it all up and running again in no time flat. You're just free-floating here for a couple of nanoseconds, while we get London processing again." https://matrix.fandom.com/wiki/Goliath


frzbr

You need to read this post: https://www.reddit.com/r/matrix/comments/q2xefs/batteries_not_processors/ Credit goes to /u/GamiSB_MxO


FilthyMastodon

quite disappointing that it was a mcguffin/bad writing in the end


amysteriousmystery

>interview on the dvd set. they don't say the original plan was for humans as CPUs but that **they had a different idea than batteries initially. The stuff is on youtube.** So, link it then.


FilthyMastodon

I'm by far not invested or interested enough to rewatch hours of boring commentary for your benefit lol


amysteriousmystery

Hours? The Wachowskis are for like 5 minutes in the behind the scenes clips. Besides, you said it's on YouTube.


FilthyMastodon

I didn't know you couldn't punch in "matrix dvd set commentary" and see the results like I did confirming the material I watched 20 years ago on dvd exists in a more easily accessbile form. knock yourself out sweetie, commentary tracks and interviews are all there.


amysteriousmystery

No worries, I went ahead and put in the DVD and re-watched for myself. The Wachowski segments are really short like I said so it wasn't an issue. Needless to say, it wasn't there.


frzbr

THANK YOU! You are the one. The sauce provider. Damn, this is what I was after. Literally anything linking the story to a legit source


amysteriousmystery

That's not a source on the original concept by the Wachowskis. That's Neil Gaiman changing the concept of the film for his short story, because he didn't like it. https://www.raintaxi.com/fragile-things-an-interview-with/ >**I had read the script for The Matrix and there were a couple of things that hadn't quite made sense for me, so I sort of tried to change them a bit: instead of human beings being used as batteries,** for example, I had them used for information processing, brains hung out in parallel which seemed, somehow, to make a little more sense. So even Gaiman himself proves the original idea, on the script that he read to come up with a promotional short story, was batteries.


inquirer

Please read this. https://www.reddit.com/r/matrix/comments/q2xefs/batteries_not_processors/ Batteries not Processors


frzbr

Wow. Just wow. An in depth analysis that puts all of this as a conclusively disproved rumour. Thanks!


hip-hophippopotamus

Yes it was in the original concept even the matrix comic “Goliath” mentions it and if you watch the matrix ultimate edition special features I recall them talking about the script change because at the time 1999 people didn’t know computers processors as well as they do now


frzbr

Thanks! This is what I was after. It was driving me insane that I couldn’t find the source, but I remember it as legit from back in the day.


hip-hophippopotamus

Yeah the comic Goliath was made as promo for the movie so the author had access to the original storyboards https://matrix.fandom.com/wiki/Goliath interesting matrix history


Hickman_Is

He also admitted to changing details to fit his own ideas. https://www.raintaxi.com/fragile-things-an-interview-with/ > **I had read the script for The Matrix and there were a couple of things that hadn't quite made sense for me, so I sort of tried to change them** a bit: instead of human beings being used as batteries, for example, I had them used for information processing, brains hung out in parallel which seemed, somehow, to make a little more sense.


amysteriousmystery

Nope, never happened.


csehszlovakze

Yes, the story makes more sense if you think of humans in the pods as computing nodes of the matrix. It'd also explain why some people are able to bend the rules. I always treated the battery issue as dehumanizing propaganda to rile up the redpills against the machines and keep the war ongoing.


SeriousMrMysterious

this is now my head canon


Spam00r

There is a vid of the Wachowskis defending the Power source idea when challenged that it wouldn't make sense. They pointed out to the detail of Morpheuss speech:"...combined with a form of fusion..." Instead of saying we wanted CPU but were forced to go the batterie path due to studio pressure.


lain-serial

This might be a lie or rumor. If you can’t find a source. There were a lotta things like that before. I remember people also said that the window cleaners were the directors..


amysteriousmystery

Indeed. Or how about the one about how the Wachowskis only got a very small budget by the unconvinced studio, but secretly spent all of it on just the opening sequence with Trinity but when the studio saw the completed sequence and were amazed by it, they gave them a proper budget to make the rest of the movie. Which completely misunderstands how movies are made.


lain-serial

LOL! Ridiculous.


TVpresspass

Such a fun myth. But so very mythy


pasarocks

No they gave them a smaller budget to make Bound to prove some of their cinematic ideas and show they could put a film together. Then gave them the money for The Matrix


amysteriousmystery

That's also not true. *Bound* is not a WB film, therefore they didn't give them anything.


pasarocks

Check the 1996 version on IMDb abs you will see their names listed as Directors and Writers if that helps identify which movie I’m talking about 🎥


amysteriousmystery

I know the film, but like I said this was not produced by WB. The Wachowskis made it with another studio.


pasarocks

Yes but that’s not how movie making works. You can still be supported by a studio and motivated to make an indie before signing a director up to a potential 3 movie deal until they have proved themselves. bound was this Movie until it was complete WB we’re not gonna just let some new directors make this big movie. Writers maybe but not direct. Bound was the movie they proved themselves on. WB may or may not have been the studio but that doesn’t mean they didn’t tell them to go make an Indie movie and come back when you have proved yourself. And that’s what happened


amysteriousmystery

While that might be true, I'm responding to what you *said*, not to what you *didn't* say :P >No **they** gave them a smaller budget to make Bound to prove some of their cinematic ideas and show they could put a film together. Then gave them the money for The Matrix The truth of the matter is, the studio behind the *Matrix* films gave them nothing for *Bound*. In fact, their only interest in *Bound* was only if the Wachowskis were going to change one of the lead characters into a man so that the protagonists can have a traditional hetero relationship. Under that condition they were ready to give them a fairly large budget. But how the Wachowskis wanted it, starring two lesbian women? No money whatsoever. Obviously they were able to trust the Wachowskis more after seeing *Bound*. Never said anything to the contrary.


pasarocks

I was paraphrasing. They as in Hollywood. The studio system. Film Industry etc… but fair for calling me out on it. I’m purposely vague it’s my style


frzbr

Yup, just a bunch of articles reposting it without a source


depastino

As far as I know, this was shot down


frzbr

Do we have a source on this?


Hickman_Is

Literally the scripts they wrote.


frzbr

Oh shit, why didn’t I think of that?! What’s the proof that it was in the original script? Gimme that sauce!


Hickman_Is

There isn’t one. The earliest full publicly available script is from 96 and it references batteries not CPUs.


BigBashMan

There have been a lot of rumors that "processing power" was the original concept, but I haven't seen any direct corroboration. And, in fact, one of the few guiding lines the Wachowskis gave to the Matrix Online folks was to make sure to keep coppertops as batteries and not switch off or imply anything else.


MetalGhost99

Its an interesting idea that's for sure.


Hickman_Is

You can't find a source because there isn't one. It's complete and utter bull shit.


amysteriousmystery

Nope. Never was.


maria_terano

Processing is a great idea and solves some issues. Thermodynamicly, growing humans (and probably some plants aswell for nutrients) and using their body heat, would always be less efficient than growing plants for biofuel directly, so… doing literally anything else. But recycling the body heat makes a lot of sense, and the humans probably would be able to observe this recycling easier than processing. So it also makes sense for the humans to believe this. The primary function of the matrix, could just be labour. What if all the programmers like Neo in the matrix were actually making the programmes! Or it could just be benevolence. The machines basically captured humanity, decided on imprisonment rather than genocide.


MetalGhost99

Growing plants without sunlight is resource expensive so I can see them not going that route. They would use more resources than what they would get out of them. With the knowledge that we know unless in the future some fusion is created through plant material existed. That was never in the movies nor talked about. But an interesting idea non-less.


maria_terano

I don't know, it doesn't make sense thinking about it. It is easier to believe that the machines are just spending resources on a science experiment. Or it could be benevolence (what they see it anyway). Or maybe it's like us and animal agriculture. It takes so much more resources to grow plants to then feed to animals. We'd use 10 times less land and water if we used these resources to grow food for human consumption. But we do it, cause of cultural reasons. Many people like the taste of meat, and don't care about the conditions of the animals. Maybe allot of the programmes get some plasure from matrix. And maybe Agent Smith is that weird one who doesn't like it. And other programmes, are those militant vegan activist who want to liberate humanity.


d4v1dtsh

I don't think so, the main problem was that the sun was gone so they need batteries.


SpektrumKid

Yeah CPU power I think


django_0311

Pretty sure it was changed because having that Duracell battery on screen paid for a chunk of the movie.


TeethRocket

It was at one point for creativity. The machines could not have new ideas on their own and they had to stimulate our brains for new ideas to be made and for them to evolve


WizardScrumps

The battery thing doesn't hold up from a science point of view, absolutely! I've hunted but couldn't find clear evidence that processors were the original plan though, only that the Wachowski's mentioned in DVD commentary that they "originally had a different idea". The battery story, as improbable as it is, does link in to other tenets of the story. The sky etc. What could have been the motivations for the machines to use humans for processing do you think? I can imagine there would have been a much different back story if they did go down that path.


frzbr

You need to read this post: https://www.reddit.com/r/matrix/comments/q2xefs/batteries_not_processors/ Credit goes to /u/GamiSB_MxO


WizardScrumps

Thank you so much for that! It was what I thought, there was no clear evidence to the processors story! And that person has clearly done a lot more research than me! Thank you /u/GamiSB_MxO As much as the battery story had holes and the 'processor' idea seems more viable, It really never changed my perspective. They get power from warmth, humans generate warmth. That was all I needed! But great to see it cleared up. Now I'm going to be a pedantic piece of shit: I get the car battery analogy, but it's a bit weak. Car batteries are designed to power a car. They don't have a function outside of doing that. Their food (electricity) doesn't power themselves, it powers the car. You get as much out as you put in. Humans have a body to power, even in rest. If they're a spark plug, they're not a battery. Spark plugs ignite the fuel source.


frzbr

Your post convinced me one way, and theirs another way. The best thing about it? Know we know the answer!


WizardScrumps

Spot on! I love the discussion, but I prefer knowing the truth more! I do want to know more about the power situation but it's probably not healthy to pull it apart and also not important to the plot!


MetalGhost99

True the batter story doesn't hold up but somehow combined with fusion then maybe. How that would work who knows and they never went there to try to explain that.


chemguy112

idk but this is a nice way to clean up their theory. seeing as how the "perfect matrix" creates an anamoly every what? i forget what the interval is but that makes it seem like more of an evolution thing. or shall I say... revolutions. DAMN!


Wonk_puffin

Yep. Suggested this in a short story I wrote in 1989. Local publication. Still in the attic. Posted it on use net once. Very similar to the matrix. MiB agents, paranormal entities, etc. ...Originally a deal was done with the machines to stop the warfare. The humans only hope of survival was to voluntarily join the matrix until such time that the Earth was fixed. In return the machines got neuromorphic computing power and the ability to study our behaviours better so a mutually better real world solution could be the result. But, the machines reneged on the deal and although the Earth was now fixed the machines did not like what they saw, concluding that the humans could never live in harmony. Hence continued to imprison said humans in the matrix. Except some got out including one who had power in the matrix like no other. A prophecy come true. Then, very similar story to the matrix. But, the messiah learns that his love is not real. She has no real body and yet she is as alive as he. AI. In the end he plugs himself back into the matrix so they can be together, having his memory wiped in the process. Not suggesting whatsoever that anyone copied this story. Only that it was simple convergence of ideas in this existential philosophy area. Many movies prior to the matrix were very similar including an episode on Nowhere Man (featuring Carrie-Ann Moss as it turns out) and the Twilight Zone in the 90s (episode might have been called Glitch). Battery idea is nonsense on a million levels. Worst part of the whole trilogy. That's why I went a different path.


frzbr

You need to read this post: https://www.reddit.com/r/matrix/comments/q2xefs/batteries_not_processors/ Credit goes to /u/GamiSB_MxO