My Holo Love is part high tech thriller, part love story, and part psychological exploration. This 12 part series from Korea is streaming on Netflix.
My Holo Love caught my interest because of the tech questions explored in the story. The premise is that a personal friend in the form of an AI can be given to you. This AI appears as a hologram, only visible when you wear special glasses that allow you to interact with it.
The AI operates according to a set of rules reminiscent of Asimov’s rules of robotics.
Han So-yeon (Ko Sung-hee) accidentally acquires a pair of the glasses. She is a quiet woman who seldom interacts with others socially because she suffers from face blindness – she cannot recognize faces.
The developer of the technology, Go Nan-do (Hyun-min Yoon), decides to let her keep the glasses long enough to use her as a beta tester.
So-yeon doesn’t know the full story, but she quickly becomes attached to the holographic AI – called Holo – who cares about her and watches out for her. Hyun-min Yoon plays both the inventor and the hologram, because the hologram’s appearance is based on him.
Holo is So-yeon’s first friend since childhood. She hides her face blindness and seems aloof and unfriendly to her coworkers. But she can be herself with the hologram.
I thought the questions the series explored about emotional attachment to technology and about whether an algorithm could learn to feel love were the most interesting part of the series.
These questions were tied into traumas that the two protagonists had suffered as children. Their backgrounds were revealed slowly as the series moved along.
There was a love story that developed between So-yeon and the real man, Nan-do. It also developed very slowly. The entire series moved ponderously slowly. With more active pacing, the story could have been told in 6 or 8 episodes.
Part of that length was created by subplots involving police investigations into the hologram and by industrial and corporate efforts to buy and control the technology for profit. Nan-do worked with his sister Go Yoo-jin (Yeo-jin Choi), who had her own subplots. Another important character was So-yeon’s mother, (Lee Jeong-eun).
The love story was predictable, but the drama around the police and the corporate takeover added tension and suspense. The bad guys who tried to steal the technology kept things moving when the story stalled.
The series didn’t reach a conclusion about what humans and holographic representations of artificial intelligence might mean to each other, but the questions it asked were interesting.
Check out the teaser for this series.
If you check out this series, I’d love to hear what you thought of it and if you agree with me that it was tediously slow.