Collaborating Authors


Life Imitates Orwell...


And I am talking Season 3. Or Amazon's hit, The Handmaid's Tale? Do you just binge and veg out or are you like me, and see how easily we could, and are, slipping into these worlds? After watching shows like this I often find myself reflecting back on George Orwell's 1984. It proves more eerily prophetic with each passing year. This Season, I fear, the writers of Westworld are almost scripting our future lives. You may not have caught it, but it is all in there.

Brave New World on Peacock a chilling dystopia in Ikea gray


Alden Ehrenreich explores a Brave New World. When I first read Aldous Huxley's famous 1932 novel Brave New World, I expected something fusty and old-fashioned. I wasn't prepared for how scathingly direct or unsettlingly dark it was, and still is today. It certainly adds a dash of cursing, a touch of violence, some Radiohead and a load of people getting their kit off. But it lacks a certain directness. The Handmaid's Tale is about sexism.

How A.I. 'hallucinations' helped make Westworld's main titles


Do androids dream of electric sheep? Sure, if the sheep graze in the Westworld theme park. This season, the HBO show's main titles designer, Patrick Clair, recruited an A.I. expert, A.I. Fiction's Dr. Pinar Yanardag, to connect him with that dreaming android, in this case, with a generative adversarial network (GAN). Yanardag and her team had used neural networks for all sorts of purposes -- to create nightmares, horror, graffiti, music, fashion, perfume, cocktails, pizza, and even chocolate. "My mind was blown by the kinds of things she's doing, combining creativity with A.I.," Clair told SYFY WIRE, so he thought, why not let a neural network try television next?

Westworld, ethics and maltreating robots Journal of Medical Ethics blog


This week saw the return, for a third season, of the critically acclaimed HBO series Westworld. WW's central premise in its first 2 seasons was a theme park, sometime in the near future, populated by highly realistic robots or'hosts'. Human guests can pay exorbitant sums to interact with these robots, in a huge range of ways. In the'western' themed area – after which the show is named – guests can choose to be white-hatted heroes or black-hatted villains. The good guys get to be brave, chivalrous, honourable and generally decent.

We should treat AI like our own children -- so it won't kill us


Are you ready for Skynet? What about synths destroying the colonies of Mars as seen in Picard? With so much fiction bleeding apocalyptic images of artificial intelligence (AI) gone wrong, we'll take a look at some possible scenarios of what could actually happen in the rise of artificial intelligence. While many researchers and computer experts aren't worried, new technologies need risk-assessment. But, some high profile scientists like Elon Musk and the late Stephen Hawking sounded the alarm years ago, and there is some reason for concern.

Westworld's season 3 trailer pits AI against AI in an intense showdown


The first season of Westworld focused on the idea of artificial intelligence and humans co-mingling in one epic theme park. The second season saw those same artificially intelligent beings lead a revolution against their human counterparts. In Westworld's third season, Dolores has escaped from the Delos-owned park she called home -- or perhaps prison is the more correct word choice. She teams up with Aaron Paul's character, who she tasks with taking down a mysterious person who took his future away. Maeve, who also escaped, is given a pretty hefty task of her own: kill Dolores.

Richard Bartle interview: How game developers should think about sapient AI characters


Richard Bartle is one of the leading academics on video games and is a senior lecturer and honorary professor of computer game design at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. He might seem an unusual choice to talk about the ethics of artificial intelligence, but video game developers have grappled with the ethics of creating virtual worlds with AI beings in them for a long time. Not only do they have to consider the ethics of what they create in their own worlds, the game designers also have to consider how much control to grant players over the AI characters who inhabit the worlds. If game developers are the gods, then players can be the demi-gods. He recently spoke about this topic in a fascinating talk in August on the IEEE Conference on Games in London. I interviewed him about our own interests in the intersection of AI, games, and ethics. He is in the midst of writing a book about the ethics of AI in games.

Westworld: 5 Things That Are Scientifically Accurate (And 5 That Make No Sense)


With its thought-provoking storylines, intelligently written characters, and balletic action sequences, Westworld has proven to be one of the most engaging series to watch right now. Based on the film of the same name and written and directed by Michael Crichton (best-selling author of Jurassic Park), the HBO series explores the possibilities of visitors living out their every fantasy in a theme park filled with robots who help simulate the Old West. The series offers compelling quandaries about ethics, artificial intelligence, and the consequences of our increasingly-automated world. David Eagleman is the renowned neuroscientist who has advised the show since its first season, helping the creators develop a near-future (30 years from now, to be exact) that is a possible extension of our own. But can we really expect to see robots that we might confuse with humans?

I, Robot: Our Changing Relationship With Technology

NPR Technology

Taken in aggregate, the billions of online searches we make every day say a lot about our most private thoughts and biases. Taken in aggregate, the billions of online searches we make every day say a lot about our most private thoughts and biases. When we have a question about something embarrassing or deeply personal, many of us don't turn to a parent or a friend, but to our computers: We ask Google our questions. As millions of us look for answers to questions, or things to buy, or places to meet friends, our searches produce a map of our collective hopes, fears, and desires. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a former data scientist at Google, analyzes the information we leave behind on search engines, social media, and even pornography sites.

The 'Westworld' intro mashed with 'Game of Thrones' is scary good


Welcome to "Westeros World," land of synthetic dragons. Pulling different aspects from the opening sequences of both "Game of Thrones" and "Westworld," Gilles Augustijnen made an intro for "Westeros World." The Berlin-based artist used his spare time to birth this fascinatingly accurate clip over the span of eight months. Augustijnen was inspired by Brandon Chapman, a composer who made a mashup of the theme music from both shows. Augustijnen uses Chapman's score in his conceptual intro, making it feel even more real.