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What Humans Lose When We Let AI Decide

#artificialintelligence

It's been more than 50 years since HAL, the malevolent computer in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, first terrified audiences by turning against the astronauts he was supposed to protect. That cinematic moment captures what many of us still fear in AI: that it may gain superhuman powers and subjugate us. But instead of worrying about futuristic sci-fi nightmares, we should instead wake up to an equally alarming scenario that is unfolding before our eyes: We are increasingly, unsuspectingly yet willingly, abdicating our power to make decisions based on our own judgment, including our moral convictions. What we believe is "right" risks becoming no longer a question of ethics but simply what the "correct" result of a mathematical calculation is. Day to day, computers already make many decisions for us, and on the surface, they seem to be doing a good job.


The Wondrous, Gloriously Absurd Spectacle of "Moonfall"

The New Yorker

"Moonfall," Roland Emmerich's latest exercise in fantasy destruction, is the second major movie to come out recently in which a huge space body is hurtling toward Earth and risks destroying all human life. In the other, "Don't Look Up," the menace is a comet, but the real story is the corruption of American politics and culture that prevents a rational response and leads to catastrophe. Whether the comet represents climate change (as the makers of "Don't Look Up" assert) or the COVID-19 pandemic (as fits the movie best), the celestial body is nonetheless only a MacGuffin, a pretext to expose the human follies that are the movie's subject. But, in "Moonfall," Emmerich is interested--really, really interested--in the moon. His obvious enthusiasm for the gloriously absurd science-fiction reconception of the moon drives the directorial pleasure principle, and it's infectious.


4 times Shakespeare has inspired stories about robots and AI

#artificialintelligence

Science fiction is a genre very much associated with technological marvels, innovations, and visions of the future. So it may be surprising to find so many of its writers are drawn to Shakespeare – he's a figure associated with tradition and the past. Sometimes his plays are reworked in a science fiction setting. The 1956 film Forbidden Planet is just one of many variations on a "Tempest in space" theme. Sometimes the playwright appears as a character caught up in a time travel adventure.


Four times Shakespeare has inspired stories about robots and AI

#artificialintelligence

When their inventor the aptly named Dr Capek dies, the robot who plays Hamlet determines to find out the truth and just like Shakespeares original prince avenge the murder of his creator.This is just one example of a strange apparent association between Hamlet and robots.


Four times Shakespeare has inspired stories about robots and AI

#artificialintelligence

Science fiction is a genre very much associated with technological marvels, innovations, and visions of the future. So it may be surprising to find so many of its writers are drawn to Shakespeare – he's a figure associated with tradition and the past. Sometimes his plays are reworked in a science fiction setting. The 1956 film Forbidden Planet is just one of many variations on a "Tempest in space" theme. Sometimes the playwright appears as a character caught up in a time travel adventure.


Four times Shakespeare has inspired stories about robots and AI

#artificialintelligence

Science fiction is a genre very much associated with technological marvels, innovations, and visions of the future. So it may be surprising to find so many of its writers are drawn to Shakespeare – he's a figure associated with tradition and the past. Sometimes his plays are reworked in a science fiction setting. The 1956 film Forbidden Planet is just one of many variations on a "Tempest in space" theme. Sometimes the playwright appears as a character caught up in a time travel adventure.


Creating the Heart of a Quantum Computer: Developing Qubits

#artificialintelligence

A computer is suspended from the ceiling. Delicate lines and loops of silvery wires and tubes connect gold-colored platforms. It seems to belong in a science-fiction movie, perhaps a steam-punk cousin of HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey. But as the makers of that 1968 movie imagined computers the size of a spaceship, this technology would have never crossed their minds – a quantum computer. Quantum computers have the potential to solve problems that conventional computers can't.


Your CEO Isn't Real: How to Deal With Deep Fakes

#artificialintelligence

The history of deep fake technology is surprisingly long. Researchers at academic institutions have been developing deep fake tech since the early 1990s. The idea is even older, as popular science fiction--like the 1987 film The Running Man--can attest. But deep fakes are no longer relegated to the realm of sci-fi; they are, in fact, more present in our daily lives than you might realize. It's easy to think of deep fakes as some sort of advanced CGI used to create highly realistic animated films or to replace established actors in a film or television series, especially in cases where actors pass away unexpectedly before filming is complete.


'Finch' trailer sees man, machine and dog try to flee climate change

Engadget

Apple offered a brief glimpse of the Tom Hanks-led Finch at its recent iPhone 13 launch event, and now you can watch the first full trailer for the upcoming sci-fi film. The clip sets the stage for the story that follows. A solar flare knocked out most of the technology on Earth and left much of the US a desolate wasteland. Hanks' character, the titular Finch, survives in an underground shelter with his only companion, a dog named Goodyear, until he builds a new Android companion. The three of them eventually leave their home when it becomes threatened by the sandstorms that dominate the world of the movie.


Future Tense Newsletter: We Need a Muppet Version of em Frankenstein /em

Slate

Sign up to receive the Future Tense newsletter every other Saturday. On Aug. 30, my heart broke a tiny bit. That day, the Guardian published a remarkable interview with Frank Oz, Jim Henson's longtime collaborator and the puppeteer behind Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, and other classic Muppets. Oz hasn't been involved with the Muppets since 2007, three years after Disney purchased the franchise. He tells the Guardian: "I'd love to do the Muppets again but Disney doesn't want me, and Sesame Street hasn't asked me for 10 years. They don't want me because I won't follow orders and I won't do the kind of Muppets they believe in. He added of the post-Disney Muppet movies and TV shows: "The soul's not there.