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Who Made Who? An Interview with Iiris Härmä on A.I.

16 Jun

By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

* Playing during Doxa Documentary Film Festival, from June 18 to 26. Tickets to an online screening can be purchased here. For information, please visit their faq.

Finnish filmmaker Iiris Härmä is perhaps best known for her documentaries exploring cultural identity. Her first work, End of the Line, is a sociological film about old men losing work at a bus factory and having nowhere else to go. It was developed in a time when globalization was making waves; the shift of where work can be done cheaper displaced many people. The ripple effect is disconcerting. Her degrees in Ethnology and Cultural Studies helps pinpoint topics of humanitarian interest. When she graduated with a diploma on film studies from the New School University in NY, the sky’s the limit for what she liked to explore in the cinematic medium–or rather, on what we learn from her discourses.

Her latest work Who Made Who? examines where artificial intelligence technology is currently headed. After her own experiences with it, namely in dealing with automated bank services through the phone, it got her curiosity going. She said another encounter was at a seminar in 2015 at Helsinki, where Michael Laakasuoed talked about the moralities of AI; it was an eye-opening experience. She talked about her inspiration in an interview with the Finnish Institute, and I’m fairly sure she took a lot more out of making this documentary than we as viewers did, as newcomers to a future not everyone is prepared for.

Essentially, this documentary examines the relationship between humans and technology. It’s not too different from Hi. A.I., a film I looked at some months ago (review link here) which dealt with similar themes. I was reminded of how robots can help keep some seniors occupied than the other one concerning Charles attempting to have a meaningful conversation with Harmony; a couple they were not.

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IGN’s Summer of Gaming is Sure to Sizzle!

15 May

IGN Announces 'Summer of Gaming' Showcase for June - IGN Now - YouTubeMajor industry events have been shuttered because of a certain coronavirus, and the issue of how to go forward is to obviously head online! Nearly every week is mention of some major regional convention “postponing” than outright cancelling. The video game industry is going remote and offer interviews, presentations, pre and post discussions and demos all from the comfort of home. IGN’s Summer of Gaming will take place on their platform, and a schedule will be coming soon announcing when to tune in.

Many developers are on board. The tally so far includes 52 different companies! From the official press release:

Ubisoft will be joining IGN’s Summer of Gaming ahead of their Forward Digital Event, along with Blizzard, Xbox, EA and more. The Guerrilla Collective showcase, which will include many different developers and publishers, will also be a part of IGN’s Summer of Gaming programming. In addition, CD Projekt Red will bring one of the most highly anticipated games of the year to the show, Cyberpunk 2077. Also, the summer event will also carry the recently announced Guerilla Collective indie showcase.

Please stay tuned as news develop.

Atari’s Missile Command hits the Mobile World & Fond Memories with Tempest 4K

1 Apr

Cover artBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Available on iOS and Android

Of all of Atari’s vast catalogue of classic games, the two I played the most were Tempest and Missile Command. With both games reimagined for current gen computers, consoles and mobiles, there’s more than a feeling of nostalgia going on. The latter is released to celebrate its 40th anniversary, and Tempest 4000 (available on Amazon) is available for the Playstation 4 for a little longer than a month. I’ve played the Steam version of the latter for the PC, but using a controller is just not the same as using a paddle.

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The Internet, or is it the Interview of Everything? The Future is Connectivity

20 Mar

Broadcast Premiere
March 22, 2020
on CBC Docs

9:00 PM EST
and will stream on CBC GEM afterwards

The cyberpunk revolution is here. No, we don’t have massive corporations in control yet, but the Internet–the backbone of what drives data back and forth between the user and computer systems–is considered everywhere. Brett Gaylor‘s The Internet of Everything nicely explores where we are at presently and perhaps where it will go.

His documentary suggests two possibilities: It will either be a surveillance nightmare or an eco-utopia. The outcome is based on what start-ups in Silicon Valley and Shenzhen will offer. Gaylor is a tech junkie much like how I am. We both hail from Victoria, British Columbia with its own unique tech scene. This city has a technology park interested in creating a future for all to enjoy.

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