In ‘Kübra,’ the Turkish drama thriller show, the protagonist, Gokhan Sahinoglu, finds himself embarking on a charged journey of faith and religion after receiving a series of cryptic texts on a social media platform. Gokhan, a war veteran searching for meaning in his life, finds what he’s looking for after an anonymous user, Kubra, messages him on SoulTouch. The user’s initial message is a simple and intriguing, “You are different,” which unravels into prophetic texts about the near future sent to convince Gokhan of Kubra’s omnipresence. Thus, Gokhan becomes convinced he’s in correspondence with God, leading to his cult’s formation, which spreads the charitable messages of their faith.
Yet, plenty of people challenge Gokhan’s authenticity, deeming his claims sinful. Consequently, as the man’s life derails into chaos and instability, he eventually discovers the truth about Kubra’s identity as an Artificial Intelligence program gone rogue. Since these elements play such an instrumental role in Gokhan’s story, viewers must be curious to know if they have any degree of reality to them. SPOILERS AHEAD!
The Fascinating Fictional Technology in Kübra
No, neither the SoulTouch app nor the titular AI depicted in ‘Kübra’ is based on real-life technology. Like the show’s overarching narrative, these elements also find their origin, in varying degrees, in the eponymous 2020 novel by Afşin Kum. Nonetheless, since the book explores a fictional story departed from real-life instances and events, its elements similarly remain steeped in fictionality. Likewise, the show’s on-screen adaptation of these elements and their role within Gokhan’s story also lacks a basis in real life.
The SoulTouch application, as presented in ‘Kübra,’ is a social media app promoted as a place to connect with people with kindred beliefs, allowing a place for open and honest discussion about religion and spiritualism. For the most part, the app only maintains relevancy within the plot during the early periods of Gokhan’s story, helping the narrative establish his inclination toward faith. Furthermore, it provides Kubra with a platform through which it can reach the man without any hassle, given its free-for-all form of communication.
In real life, social media apps with a basis in religion aren’t uncommon. For instance, several platforms, such as ChristiansLikeMe, YouVersion Bible App, and myPraize, are all similar examples of Christian-based social networking. Nevertheless, while SoulTouch is a popular brand name for other industries, no faith-driven social network exists by the name.
As for Kubra, the AI that tricks Gokhan into forming a cult by pretending to play at being God is another fictional element within the show. The concept of evil Artificial Intelligence has been around for quite some time now, best depicted in movies like ‘Her,’ ‘Ex Machina,’ and ‘Wall-E.’ Furthermore, the base principle of Kubra’s inception, its ability to replace high-paying CEOs, is an idea that has recently gained traction in the media.
In September of 2023, CNBC reported that 49% of CEOs believe that AIs could replace most of their roles within a company. Although the notion has been contended by a few since then, the idea prevails. Therefore, Kubra’s basic design has some reference to reality. However, the advanced existence of the AI capable of taking secretive authorization over every personal device on the planet and manipulating them remains a far cry from reality yet. Thus, even though the technology explored within ‘Kübra’ takes inspiration from reality, it has no basis in the same.