Touted as the Hong Kong version of Black Mirror, ViuTV’s new original television drama The Republic <理想國> is an anthology series that features 13 different stand-alone stories in which society lives in a futuristic, dystopian future controlled by technology. In the final episode “Prison Sounds” <聲音監獄> starring Anthony Wong (黃秋生), the film king plays an incarcerated small-time fraudster who nearly goes insane in a prison entirely controlled by artificial intelligence (AI).
In this version of society, resources are shred thin to the point that even bathroom units are being revamped into prison cells. Each cell is only as large as an elevator. There are no beds and no separate space for prisoners to relieve themselves. The entire correctional services system, from management down to the prison officers, are replaced by AI.
Through the use of AI, the government is able to track down every move and conversation by the prisoners. Each prisoner is also graded in a point system—the higher the points, the more likely that the prisoner would get his or her prison sentence reduced.
Basic human rights are taken away from these prisoners: they have to learn how to survive in an incredibly small space for a long period of time. They have to finish their grooming and meals in an inexplainable short amount of time, and they cannot utter anything that would offend the AI system. If a prisoner has bad behavior, the AI will play a harsh sound and points will be deducted.
“Prison Sounds” will air August 21st.
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.