Science Fiction


The First Film Adaptation of Frankenstein Has Been Restored, and You Can Watch It Right Here

Slate

The Library of Congress has restored the first film adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, an Edison production from 1910 directed by J. Searle Dawley. We tend to think of effects-driven spectacles as a product of the modern era, but decades before that checkerboard floor in Terminator 2: Judgement Day started moving, studios were selling films on the basis of single FX shots. Here's how the Edison company described their Frankenstein: To those who are not familiar with the story, we can only say that the film tells an intensely dramatic story by the aid of some of the most remarkable photographic effects that have yet been attempted. The formation of the hideous monster from the blazing chemicals of a huge caldron in Frankenstein's laboratory is probably the most weird, mystifying, and fascinating scene ever shown on a film. Frankenstein's creation is no longer the most weird, mystifying, and fascinating scene ever shown on film, but it's a fun trick-shot, using reversed footage of a dummy that has been set on fire to give the impression of a body knitting itself together from nothing.


Rise of gene-edited livestock, including hornless cows and pigs that never hit puberty

Daily Mail

Cows that can withstand hotter temperatures. Cows born without pesky horns. Pigs that never reach puberty. A company wants to alter farm animals by adding and subtracting genetic traits in a lab. It sounds like science fiction, but Recombinetics sees opportunity for its technology in the livestock industry.


Silver screen machines: These are the all-time best movies about A.I.

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There are some great tech documentaries out there, but sometimes you just need a good feature film. But which one to choose for the discerning A.I. fan? Combing through the cinematic archives, we've made our picks for the best A.I.-themed movies you have to see before you die. Or, at least, before the machines take over and we're put to work in the dung mines with no time for frivolous entertainment. Artificial intelligence wasn't formed as its own official discipline until the mid-1950s, but the first "must watch" movie on this list pre-dates this by more than a quarter century. Made by German expressionist filmmaker Fritz Lang, Metropolis is an epic science fiction film which has inspired countless other movies in the genre.


Rise of the police robots

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History has time and again taught us that, science fiction is only a fantasy until science makes it a reality. In the 1940s Isaac Asimov, a prolific science fiction writer wrote about a future where robots are a part of the human world. Similarly, in a sci-fi film, Robocop made more than 30 years ago, a robot is built-up in order to solve an unprecedented crime problem in dystopian crime-ridden Detroit. Today science fiction has become a reality. Police in different parts of the world are using robots for law enforcement and first, ever robotic police officers have become deployed across China, Dubai and Hyderabad in India.


'Prospect': A Lo-Fi, DIY Sci-Fi Film That's Better Than Its Big-Budget Brethren

WIRED

Last summer, the actor Jay Duplass found himself in the middle of a lush forest in Washington state, his body struggling under the weight of a giant space-helmet. The actor was filming scenes for the sci-fi drama Prospect, in which he plays a planet-scavenger hoping to get rich. Duplass' otherworldly get-up--like nearly all of the film's costume and props--had been designed and hand-made by a team of earthbound artists. But while his beat-up headgear looked cool, wearing it was "a goddamn nightmare," the actor says. Those helmets are not designed to be worn all day, or walked around in.


Artificial Intelligence: the future is just around the corner - The Oak Leaf

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Artificial intelligence is no longer a sci-fi movie trope--it's here and it's at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution. Businesses are wising up, hiring smart and investing in artificial intelligence, a Salesforce director told Santa Rosa Junior College students and World Affairs Council of Sonoma County (WACSC) members Oct. 25. Jonathan Miranda is the director of strategy of Salesforce's technology division.That's just his job title, though. He is a futurist who studies where technology trends are headed. "Our team is aimed at the next two, three, five years" he said.


The Link Between Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and AI

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There is an indisputable link between Victor Frankenstein's creation (let's try and veer away from the term monster), and Artificial Intelligence. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's narrative of the modern Prometheus has travelled through time and space, surpassing generations. For me, the classic tale of Frankenstein and his creation is timeless - in the true sense of the word. It cannot be bolted down. Bore from growing scientific circles of the Victorian era and the mind of an intellectually advanced teenage girl, it boasts post-modern sensibilities and futuristic ideals.


The experiments that inspired Frankenstein

Daily Mail

On January 17 1803, a young man named George Forster was hanged for murder at Newgate prison in London. After his execution, as often happened, his body was carried ceremoniously across the city to the Royal College of Surgeons, where it would be publicly dissected. What actually happened was rather more shocking than simple dissection though - Forster was going to be electrified. Giovanni Aldini's experiments with a human corpse - one of the first, and most controversial, to attempt to reanimate a human using electricity Luigi Galvani was an Italian physician who demonstrated what we now understand to be the electrical basis of nerve impulses, when he made frog muscles twitch by jolting them with a spark from an electrostatic machine. Galvani one day observed his assistant using a scalpel on a nerve in a frog's leg; when a nearby electric generator created a spark, the frog's leg twitched, prompting Galvani to develop his famous experiment.


Probing "Frankenstein" 's Legacy Through Iconic Memorabilia

The New Yorker

Soon after it was published, in 1818, Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" became a sensation--by 1826, sixteen plays based on the book had landed onstage. The Morgan Library & Museum celebrates the legacy of Shelley and her monster in the exhibition "It's Alive!" (co-organized with the New York Public Library, on view through Jan. 27). Pages of the original manuscript appear with memorabilia including a restoration of the iconic silver-streaked wig worn by Elsa Lanchester in the 1936 movie "The Bride of Frankenstein" (above).


Frankenstein, AI and humanity's love of fearing technology

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In 1818, the first copy of Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was published. Two hundred years later, it's still our go-to monster story, even if the cultural images we associate with it owe more to Boris Karloff's portrayal of the monster than Mary Shelley's original novel. Only a handful of books maintain relevance beyond a decade, let alone 200 years – yet Frankenstein endures to this day and still offers instant shorthand for cultural touchstones. Even the name Frankenstein conjures up images of a frightening hotchpotch concoction that isn't natural and shouldn't exist: Frankenfoods, Frankenbabies, and even Frankenalgorithms. That latter of these is important.