Sunny star Rashida Jones has said that the ongoing debate and discussion around artificial intelligence is very much at the heart of her new Apple TV+ comedy-drama.


The story follows Suzie Sakamoto (Jones), an American expat living in Japan, who is struck by unimaginable grief when her husband and young son perish in a plane crash.

She is gifted an AI assistant named Sunny (voiced by Joanna Sotomura) from her late husband's former employer to help support her through this difficult time – but is less than enthusiastic about the token gesture.

Speaking to and other press, Jones and her co-star Hidetoshi Nishijima (Drive My Car) spoke about what they consider to be at the "heart" of this well-received new series.

Both actors felt that the story tackles weighty themes regarding the place of AI in our society, our relationship with the technology and what it means to have a soul.

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"For centuries, humans have been asking what it is to be human," said Jones. "That's our biggest burden is that we're constantly asking why we're here. We're the only species on Earth who's asking why we're here.

"And now we've actually created this thing that's almost like us. And that feels like, again, we're still trying to work out what makes us human by creating something that's almost like us, that we're looking at and seeing as a reflection.

"And trying to figure out how we're different from it, how we're similar to it... So this all feels like a giant exercise in existentialism, really. And I think that is at the heart of the show."

The conversation around AI has escalated significantly in recent times with the development of generative tools, such as ChatGPT, raising serious questions about where the technology is headed.

Suzie (Rashida Jones) looks concerned towards her robot companion, Sunny
Rashida Jones stars in Sunny. Apple TV+

Jones finished by asking: "Are we meant to be connected with other people? Are we meant to be connected with robots? Are we just seeking out connections so desperately… Do we need to quell our own loneliness that much that we want to connect with anything?"

Japanese actor Nishijima, who plays Suzie's ill-fated husband Masa, agreed: "I feel, ultimately, it's a story about human relationships and what 'human' is to begin with and what souls are.

"The characters see a soul within the robot and the robot itself becomes kind of sentient. When you watch this dark comedy, you'll probably laugh and you'll probably be thrilled by the suspense aspect of it.

He added: "But ultimately, I think you will be thinking about this very profound story about human souls."

Sunny episodes 1 and 2 launched today on Apple TV+, with the release schedule for the remaining episodes set to stretch across the summer months ahead.

Sunny is available to stream on Apple TV+. New episodes weekly. Subscribe to Apple TV+ for £8.99 per month.


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