Back in October, Warner Bros. launched a viral website for LexCorp, the mega corporation founded and controlled by business genius/criminal mastermind Lex Luthor. At that time, the site merely prompted visitors to enter their contact information in order to receive updates on the company’s enterprising Lex/OS project. Little was known at the time about what exactly Lex/OS was, or what role (if any) it was set to have in the story of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, but fan curiosity was piqued. With only a few short weeks left to go before the film’s debut in theaters, the LexCorp viral site has finally come fully online, providing more key information about the overall implications of Lex/OS.
Upon first visiting the LexCorp site, users are greeted with a suitably corporate looking login screen, presumably for employees. Normal folk can simply click on the button labeled “guest beta access” to proceed further. The next screen talks up Lex/OS, described as the “world’s first neural network based operating system.” The goal is to teach Lex/OS how to think like a human being, with the idea being to create an operating system with more complexity and security than a simple computer. LexCorp touts Lex/OS as the start of an “age of machines that will think for us, freeing up human brain power to tackle the world’s bigger questions.”
To anyone who has seen films like The Terminator, the Lex/OS mission statement should immediately send up red flags. Creating a sentient A.I. capable of making human level logistical decisions rarely works out well for any fictional universes it takes place in, with Skynet arguably being the go-to example for many. That said, one needn’t even venture outside of the superhero movie genre to find another instance of an advanced A.I. turning against humanity, as evidenced by the titular villain in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In the unscrupulous hands of Lex Luthor, Lex/OS is almost guaranteed to turn into something hazardous to the citizens of the DC universe.
Which makes it a tad amusing that those same citizens — in the form of the visitors to LexCorp’s website — can actively help along the development of Lex/OS by completing various puzzle games that are supposedly designed to teach the program how a human being thinks. Participants can unlock further challenges by completing tasks, and eventually increase their level of LexCorp security clearance. What (if anything) is revealed when one reaches the highest level of access remains to be seen.
It is already well known that Zack Snyder has opted to change the origin of DC villain Doomsday for Batman V Superman, so the natural question then becomes whether or not Lex/OS will eventually evolve into another DC character, such as Brainiac. While Brainiac’s canonical comic origins are that of an alien android, Snyder’s revamping of the Doomsday backstory sets a possible precedent for a rewrite of Brainiac’s arrival as well. Speculation has long abounded of Brainiac’s presence in the upcoming Justice League movie, and if that ends up being the case, it would make sense that the character’s origins be introduced via a subplot in Dawn of Justice. In the meantime, fans should feel free to keep beta testing Lex/OS. After all, what could possibly go wrong?
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016, followed by Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 16th, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League Part Two on June 14th, 2019; Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps. on June 19th, 2020.
Source: Warner Bros.