Tag Archives: Technology

VFFOnline: Are We Doomed by Becoming an iHuman?

6 Feb

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!

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Top Five Documentaries About Pop Culture To Get 2021 On!

21 Jan

A glitch in the Matrix (TV Mini-Series 2021– ) - IMDbBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

With 2021 now in full swing, to keep an eye out on what documentaries is worth checking can be tough.

There’s a few gems from the crowdfunding world which gets major attention much later, after its release, and others making a grand entrance through Sundance Film Festival. Most of which will become available regionally or be immediately distributed through streaming services when considering the world is still in pandemic lockdown mode.

The ones I’m particularly excited to see are:

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Top Picks to see at the 2021 Victoria Film Festival

19 Jan

Feb 5 to 14th, 2021
For ticket purchases, please visit victoriafilmfestival.com

The Victoria Film Festival is back, and online! It’s no surprise that this event has gone digital. The pandemic and regional restrictions on what events can continue forced many celebrations of any kind world-wide to continue this trend. On this list includes who can view the films this year; those living outside of British Columbia are out of luck, and my recommendation is to check your local art house theatre or film festival to see if they will be offered.

Suspiciously missing in this virtual edition is Jammies and Toons. Whatever the reason is for dropping this annual tradition for kids, my foreign animated pick Wolfwalkers, available to stream on Apple TV+. It has everything a child can enjoy and my review can be found here.

Deciding on what to see this year was tough. I offer a Top Ten (minus one since I always include an animated entry). Thankfully, there’s material in the shorts program, but it’s not quite the same.

When the physical events are permitted to run, I’m sure it’ll be back.

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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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