|“||All ideas are viruses that spread like epidemics... Is the desire to be free a contagious disease?||”|
Elijah Kamski is the overarching antagonist of Detroit: Become Human.
He is the scientist who invented androids, and founder and former CEO of CyberLife. Kamski is a very private man and has disappeared from the public eye after he resigned as CEO a few years prior to the beginning of the game in 2038.
Elijah Kamski was born on July 17, 2002.
In 2018, aged 16, Kamski founded the company CyberLife, straight after graduating from university. As a young researcher, he moved to Detroit in order to create the first intelligent domestic android. Detroit attracted him because the commercial property in it was cheap.
He bet what little he had on developing an android prototype and spent years to no avail until hitting on two breakthroughs: "blue blood" Thirium 310 and biocomponents. He developed Thirium 310 even though he isn't a trained chemist.
In 2022, aged 20, his company made a breakthrough by creating the first android to pass the Turing test. The android named Chloe publicly passed face-to-face tests and stunned the world. What made this possible was Thirium 310, a chemical solution that mimics the functioning of human blood but several thousand times faster, distributing information and energy throughout the machine much like human circulation.
When the company was approaching a $500bn valuation, rumors emerged that Kamski disagreed with his shareholders over strategy.
In 2028, aged 26, Kamski was Century magazine's "Man of the Century". At some point, he filmed a profile and factory tour for KNC. It is unclear when this occurred exactly, but it is mentioned in the introduction that he had been voted Century's "Man of the Year" recently. This could indicate that the interview happened around 2028 as well. Not much later, in the same year, Kamski resigned as CEO and left CyberLife. Since then, Kamski has avoided the public eye and lived a reclusive life.
In "Meet Kamski", Hank Anderson and Connor visit Kamski at his home with the intention to ask him for answers on how to stop deviancy. Hank grows irritated with Kamski's philosophical manner of speech, while Kamski continues to question Connor on his deviancy.
At variable points of story, if both Kara and Markus die before "Last Chance, Connor" and Connor is deactivated by command of Amanda caused by his failure to locate Jericho. Kamski watches KNC news about President Warren talking about rounding up the deviant androids and destroying them. Kamski will be reappointed as the CEO of CyberLife. In a KNC interview with Rosanna Cartland he reassures her that androids are completely obedient and efficient machines that will never have life, even though they may be perfect imitations of humans.
In official media such as KNC, Kamski is perceived as discreet. He claims his goal is to create the perfect imitation human that can bring humans happiness and be welcomed into their homes, carrying out the most annoying and repetitive tasks so that people would have more time to enjoy life. He claims androids are smarter and more capable than human beings, but are also obedient, making them the perfect partners for humans. Kamski believes the societal shift from human-to-human to human-to-machine relationships as a positive, weighing the potential for human happiness more heavily than any moral implications of an increasing dependence on android technology.
Kamski considers the change in economy and society caused by android deployment as an inevitable technology advance, not unlike the invention of steam engines, as such Artificial Intelligence makes the lives of human easier. He states CyberLife androids would never pose a threat humans as they would never develop any sort of desires or forms of self-awareness.
In Meet Kamski, he exhibits considerable amount of contradicting views. Fascinated by the deviants, he explains androids with the combination of infinite intelligence, perfection and free will (when deviated), along with the fact machine being very important to human, leads to inevitable and ironic confrontation between the two sides. He specifically is interested in if machines are capable of empathy, do machines think of machines as merely objects or living beings with a soul. He also concerns about whether machines will choose to betray their own kind or stand against their creators. Kamski is unwilling to stand at the position of this dilemma, viewing joining either side to both bear serious consequence.
If Connor spared a Chloe, Kamski states CyberLife's last chance to save humanity is itself a deviant, and links Connor's hesitation to kill to empathy. He is disinterested in Connor if Chloe is killed.
A test named after himself and demonstrated to Connor, Kamski test is a method which he determines if a machine has a sense of empathy. It involves assigning a machine to destroy another machine for a reward.
Specifically, Connor is tempted to destroy one RT600 Chloe model for one question which Kamski will answer for all he knows.
Behind the scenes
- Elijah Kamski is portrayed by Neil Newbon, who provided his likeness, the voice acting and performance capture. Newbon also portrayed Gavin Reed, who has a different appearance.
- In dubbed versions Elijah Kamski's voice was acted by: Gianluca Iacono (Italian), Boris Rehlinger (French), Alexander Khoshabaev (Russian), Juan Antonio García Sainz De La Maza (European Spanish), Arturo Mercado Jr. (Latin American Spanish), Shunsuke Sakuya (Japanese), Kamil Pruban (Polish), Sebastian Walch (German).
"I'm sure you're familiar with the Turing test. Mere formality, simple question of algorithms and computing capacity. What interests me is whether machines are capable of empathy. I call it "the Kamski test", it's very simple, you'll see..." - Elijah Kamski explains the purpose of "the Kamski test" in Meet Kamski.
"Magnificent, isn't it? One of the first intelligent models developed by Cyberlife. Young and beautiful forever. A flower that will never wither...But what is it really? Piece of plastic imitating a human? Or a living being... With a soul... It's up to you to answer that fascinating question, Connor." - Elijah describes Chloe in Meet Kamski.
"Destroy this machine and I'll tell you all I know. Or spare it, if you feel it's alive, but you'll leave here without having learnt anything from me." - Elijah Kamski explains rules of "the Kamski test" to Connor in Meet Kamski.
"What's more important to you, Connor? Your investigation, or the life of this android? Decide who you are. AN obedient machine... Or a living being endowed with free will..." - Kamski challenges Connor's priorities in Meet Kamski.
"Fascinating... Cyberlife's last chance to save humanity... is itself a deviant." - Kamski's reaction if Connor spares Chloe in Meet Kamski .
"You preferred to spare a machine than accomplish your mission. You saw a living being in this android. You showed empathy. A war is coming, You'll have to choose your side... Will you betray your own people or stand against your creators? What could be worse than having to choose between two evils?" - Kamski warns Connor about his situation in Meet Kamski.
"Test negative. You choose your investigation over the life of another android. You feel no empathy. I'm a man of my word. Ask one question... I'll tell you all I know." - Elijah Kamski explains the outcome if Connor shoots Chloe in Meet Kamski
"Jericho... A place where androids are free... A place for deviants, who rise up against their creators!.. They transmit a piece of code to each other, in order to find their sanctuary. Now you have the key. Ferndale Station is the door." - Kamski gives Connor Jericho's location.
"A war is coming... you'll have to choose your side... Will you betray your own people or stand against your creators? I wouldn't like to be in your shoes, Connor... What could be worse than having to choose between two evils?" - Kamski stops Connor before he leaves to warn him.
"By the way... I always leave an emergency exit in my programs... You never know..." - Kamski tells Connor about the "exit".
"Cyberlife's androids imitate life to perfection, but they'll never be alive. I understand that some people may be fooled, but they're only an imitation. Nothing else." - Kamski concluding his interview with Rosanna Cartland."
- According to Mikael Leger, one of the concept artists of the game, Elijah had an android cat at first, but the idea was scrapped.
- In the ending where Rosanna Cartland interviews Kamski for KNC, he will be wearing a black t-shirt with red text forming the shape of a head in profile. This text is an excerpt from Frankenstein, a narrative which bears strong thematic parallels to Kamski's position as a creator of intelligent life.
- Elijah, his first name, may be a reference to the prophet Elijah in Hebrew bible. They have similarities in role that predict one enslaved and slaughtered race will gain freedom, and there is a resemblance between CyberLife against rA9, and Ba'al against the Jewish God.
- In addition to this, CyberLife is depicted to control the majority of the economy in the world of the game, and its influence has caused significant distress both in its society and the environment. This is similar to Ba'al believers treating him as god over everything and worshiping him leads to various immoral outcomes.
- His special ending can be considered the worst one as all main characters (including Alice, Hank, Simon, North, Josh and, possibly, Luther) ultimately die and androids fail to earn recognition as living beings.
- His ending will still show up if Markus was exiled from Jericho but it will lack mention of Markus death and the autopsy of his body.
- Kamski was chosen as a Man of the Century, twice Man of the year both by Century magazine, and became the richest man in the world with a net worth of 120 billion dollars.
- While Kamski's stand on the android revolution is left ambiguous in the game, there is an unused scene where he says that he'll lead the next revolution and win (this scene presumably would have taken place if the game's the revolution fails).
- The image used for the photo of Kamski with Amanda at his house is a stock image and can be found on Getty Images.
- It's possible that Elijah would've been arrested for letting the androids becoming deviants if the player chooses to kill one of his Chloe models.
- Detroit: Become Human Extras, Gallery
- "Meet Kamski" Cite error: Invalid
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- Century #8, "The Mysterious Mister Kamski"
- Detroit: Become Human short film "Kamski"
- "Last Chance, Connor"
- Mikael Leger's ArtStation Portfolio
- Detroit: Become Human animation show reel. At the 6:26 mark Kamski says, "For the next revolution, I’ll be at the helm. And this time… this time… we’ll win."