We literally have the ability to tell stories in ways not possible before this in human history. Plays, books, radio, movies and TV all changed the way stories were delivered, but not the fundamental structures of the stories told or the relationship between the storyteller and the audience. With immersive, open-ended, multi-user worlds, we no longer have one teller and many listeners; instead we have thousands or millions of points of view in the same world at the same time, creating meaning out of their actions and events in the world. With this, for the first time we have the potential to create new kinds of stories: stories that, in one way to put it, are asked, not told.—Mike Sellers, video game designer and AI researcher
We live in an age where smartphones can tell us when we need to leave for the airport and Turing test competitors inch ever closer to a passing grade, but true artificial intelligence remains out there on the horizon, frustratingly out of reach. At the Tribeca Film Festival a new sci-fi action film imagines one way we might finally achieve that goal — and some of the moral and ethical problems we might not see coming. It’s called The Machine, and you’re going to want to see it.
The second feature from writer and director Caradog James, the film tells the story of Dr. Vincent McCarthy (Toby Stephens). It’s the near-future. A cold war with China has pushed the Western world into a continued economic depression, and building the first intelligent machines has become the new space race. McCarthy works for the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense, designing implants for brain-damaged soldiers. He’s a brilliant and driven man seemingly doing noble work — but there’s something darker there pushing him on. There’s also the matter of how well his research is going; there have been accidents along the way, and he’s treading in a particularly grey area of the moral spectrum.
It is a feature documentary telling the story of our interconnection with each other, the planet, and the universe.
We hope that this documentary will change the way we think as a species – to stop seeing ourselves as separate from each other, from the planet and the cosmos – and inspire us to work together to transform our planetary crises.
By weaving together perspectives and ideas from some of the key theorists and thinkers in the fields of cosmology, environmentalism, sustainability, social theory, anthropology and systems dynamics, Continuum tells the story of where we have come from, where we are now, and the possibilities for our future.
Activision reveals animated human that looks so real, it’s unreal
Activision showed off the state of the art of real-time graphics on Wednesday, releasing this mind-boggling character demo. The character’s skin, facial expressions and eyes look so real, it’s uncanny.
When you watch this video, see if you think this character has reached the other side of what’s commonly called the “uncanny valley,” a term first uttered by early robotics guru Masahiro Mori in 1970. It describes the range of sophistication of animated graphics, from one side of the valley where human figures simply look unrealistic, to the middle of the valley — where they look just realistic enough to be creepy — to our side of the valley, where animation is indistinguishable from reality.