VFFOnline: Are We Doomed by Becoming an iHuman?

In what’s terrific about this work is that we have human rights being examined. Philip Alston is just one person speaking up for every man. More can be said in this rather lengthy documentary in this category, as it’s merely scratching the surface of where AI’s use will lead to a dystopian future ala George Orwell.

Image result for ihuman posterBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Streaming Online
at the Victoria Film Festival
Get your pass here to view beginning Feb 5th, 2021

Note: Available to view for residents in British Columbia

To become an iHuman is less about what applications can benefit from the use of artificial intelligence, but more on how that information is used. There are pros and cons, as everyone knows, to giving birth to a SkyNet from the movie Terminator. Is the human species doomed? Thankfully, not yet.

This documentary directed by Tonje Hessen Schei is very telling. It’s scary when considering it lists who is interested in making use of machine guided decisions. And it’s not with monitoring the habits of smartphone and computer users worldwide.

We already know about the ways Google and Facebook are using your data. The latter tracks your likes and dislikes. Even on Amazon’s mass marketplace, where you can buy anything (it’s not just about books), the website knows your tastes; when you flip to its video streaming service, the television programs you may not have heard of are on top of the recommended list!

Continue reading “VFFOnline: Are We Doomed by Becoming an iHuman?”

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

Iiris Härmä’s latest work Who Made Who? examines where artificial intelligence technology is currently headed.

null 5Playing 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.

Continue reading “Who Made Who? An Interview with Iiris Härmä on A.I.”

On Isa Willinger’s Hi A.I. and When Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

nullBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Playing at Victoria Film Festival 2020
Feb 12 | 3:15 PM | SilverCity #3

Spoiler Alert

Isa Willinger‘s Hi A.I. is a bizarre and long documentary about attempting to replicate human behaviour. This filmmaker shows how they work in the modern world than science fiction. We all worry about something along the lines of Terminator ala Skynet or I, Robot will take a decade or two more to realize before coders can replicate how the brain works to create that level of uncertainty.

Thankfully, this film is not about the dangers of artificial intelligence. If we can ignore the aspect of trying to put the technology into a human body (it’s still creepy to look at no matter what), the possibilities are endless. We are not there for cognitive ability, but it’s fascinating to see where we are with it now. The creations on display here aren’t ghosts in the shell or a machine either. Gilbert Ryle explains cognizance quite well and reference to his work was brief.

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[VFF2019] Battery Operated Boyfriend, An Analysis & Review

Victoria Event Centre
1415 Broad Street.

Remaining Shows:
Aug 24 4:30 pm
Aug 28 7:45 pm
Aug 31 4:30 pm
Sep 01 5:00 pm

A lot of themes are explored in Giant Nerd Australia‘s Battery Operated Boyfriend, which is making its North American premiere at the 2019 Victoria Fringe Festival. Please check this performance group’s Facebook page for future dates. In what you’ll see is a very in-depth look at loneliness in the eyes of Samantha (Nicol Cabe), a scientist/computer programmer. She lost her beau many years ago and programmed a facsimile of him–an artificial intelligence (Steve Brady) aptly named B.O.B.–to cope. While android technology is unknown in this minimalist sci-fi world, I get the sense that technology is advanced enough to allow for space exploration. Also, smart homes are a lot more common. Continue reading “[VFF2019] Battery Operated Boyfriend, An Analysis & Review”

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