WK6: Ghost in the Shell (1995)
Ghost in the Shell poses many questions surrounding “consciousness” and whether human-machine hybrids can possess consciousness. A topic we’ve discussed as well in the weekly lectures. In one of my tweets above I mention the title of the movie is actually borrowed from a book which raises more questions to this topic of “consciousness”, that is it apart from a biological process. Harrison posted a thought provoking tweet about “the eyes” and “future thinking” films which I found very fascinating. I too added to this conversation sharing a tweet about the main character, Major Kusanagi, she in fact does not blink during the film making her appear “doll-like.”
It was interesting to see and recognise scenes from The Matrix through Ghost in the Shell and learn these were in fact mimicked from this film. In one of the tweets above I’ve posted a comparison collage that I found showing the similar scenes side by side.
In the tweet I received the greatest engagement for this week, I mention Elon Musk’s “Neuralink” founded in 2017, developing technology allowing people to communicate directly with electronic machines. I thought it was so cool to find out the technology in the film doesn’t seem too far away at all.
WK7: The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix created new way of understanding our reality. “It’s not that the film was prescient. It didn’t anticipate our world. But it anticipated — and probably created — a new way of viewing that world.” I thought this was a really important point to tweet relevant to our future studies lecture material. It follows the idea that in that science fiction does not predict the future but can teach us about our past, therefore “creating a new way to view the world.
To engage with my fellow peers viewing the film in this week I created a few polls which was a fun way of incorporating interaction. First I asked the big question red pill or blue pill. Then asked whether or not they believe we live in a simulation. As much as these questions were more just bit of fun, watching The Matrix does make us question our reality. In a tweet shown above I reference philosopher Descartes. He notes “our inability to be certain about the evidence of our senses and our capacity to know anything definite about the world as it really is”, a prominent theme in The Matrix.
In one of my tweets I quote a line of the film “never send a human to do a machines job”. I thought this was an interesting point made when discussing technology and the future of technology. Slowly we are redefining the relationship between humans and machines but machines are an extension of ourselves as Marshall McLuhan would say!
WK8: Robot and Frank (2012)
Robot and Frank shows a very near future and brings to light some of the concerns surrounding the use of Robots as carers in and in old age care in particular. It’s a controversial topic yet a concept which is already happening in real life, with names like Stevie, Paro and Pillo, these robots can do everything from keeping the elderly company to reminding them to take their medication at the right time.
As the use of a poll was so successful in the week before I included another just to again engage with my fellow classmates and start a conversation on the ethics of AI. I briefly touch on anthropomorphism, the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. The way we view robots and AI carers is definitely influenced by this.
I found an interview with the film director which was quite interesting so I share a very snippets of his answers as I thought they discussed this topic quite well. He says “frankly, I don’t think anyone has a problem with a robot vacuuming, but if there’s a benefit from a simulated human interaction, are we gonna be OK with that? Is that just too creepy?”. Which is the initial reaction of many who come across the idea of robot assisted care. In a tweet above I quote a character who states using a robot means the main characters son is abandoning him. I was interested to see if anyone agreed with this, that theres neglect involved relying on robots, as I believe it’s very much the opposite as he is doing it out of care cause he himself can’t be there to care for him! This tweet received multiple comments and it was interesting to see everyones else voice their opinions.
WK9: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Blade Runner 2049 more than simply displaying the trappings of cyberpunk aesthetics, is cyberpunk on the nose, but more than that, it is a matured and an evolved form of the genre. In this weeks screening it was cool to continue the Blade Runner story from 1982 continued. In a tweet shown above I list some of the questions posed in the first film, will this sequel answer any? Well, Jasmyn provided some great insight in her comment “if anything #BladeRunner2049 shows how blurred the lines are between real and synthetic. And, challenges us to move away from binary notions of human and non-human (a core understanding of Cyborgs).”
In a tweet I quote Dr Anna McFarlane, a cyberpunk scholar “cyberpunk offers a vision of a post-national, globalised society where those who know how to manipulate information will come out on top, a vision of the world very recognisable to us today,” which I thought was a very interesting point to add to the conversation.
Benny mentions the notion of a “replicant society” which I retweeted, however for some reason I think theres something quite scary of an entire society produced of replicant but who knows it could be a near future!
WK10: Ready Player One (2018)
In Ready Player One the virtual reality experience is expanded upon and a whole new world “The Oasis” is created. As I mentioned on Bodhi’s tweet it is basically a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets The Matrix. Julia shared a really cool tweet revealing that Spielberg actually used a VR headset to be be able to walk through the virtual set. The future of film production!
In a tweet shown above I shared an article explains how close we are to creating our own “Oasis” and the technology known as a “metaverse”- a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical reality and physically persistent virtual space, including the sum of all virtual worlds, augmented reality, and the Internet.!Continuing this discussion of The Oasis I found an article explaining it in relation to mindsets and social norms, that the oasis “isn’t about interaction through virtual reality systems, but about mindsets and social norms. Our systems, whether educational, governmental, or corporate are coming to reflect cyber systems.”
I made note that the music and 80’s pop references makes “the future feel nostalgic”, yet later in the tutorial discussion I became aware that Ready Player One is problematic in a sense, referencing these music and aesthetics. “Many people find its take on games and so-called genre art to be a dull, pandering tableau of reference points as an end unto themselves,” the A.V. Club informed
WK11: Alita Battle Angel (2019)
Alita Battle Angel is more than just a jaw-dropping piece of dystopian futurism, though. It digs into the same things that we deal with every day now: how does our past define our future? How does technology empower us—and more importantly, how does it control us?
In Alita Battle Angel, once again we are shown a glimpse of a future with cyborgs. I tweeted a quote found by film director James Cameron “in Alita Battle Angel we’re merging with our technology. We express ourselves through technology, it’s a manifestation of our consciousness. We’re merging with it, we’re going to continue to change and evolve socially as our machines develop.” Again, as for the previous ideas shown in our lectures and films we can link back to Marshall McLuhan’s “Extensions of Man.” I added in a tweet “AI shouldn’t stop at reaching the human level it must go beyond the capabilities of humans for it to reach its peak potential.”
Lastly to add, I had some interesting interactions with Alita Battle Angel fan groups and bots! This made me gain a lot more likes and attraction to my tweets.
WK12: 2040 (2019)
For our final week we watched documentary 2040 “motivated by concerns about the planet his 4-year-old daughter would inherit, Damon embarked on a global journey to meet innovators and changemakers in the areas of economics, technology, civil society, agriculture, education and sustainability.”
For this week again I began with a poll to engage with my peers, “are you optimistic about the future?” The response was a whole lot of no’s! Why? Well as I linked in a tweet, their is a lot of anxiety about our future, in particular due to climate change known as “eco-anxiety.”
But how do we combat this? How can we alter our future? Well as explained in 2040 a major factor is distribution! Linking this to the weekly lecture content and the notion of “the paradigm shift.” As explained in my tweets and in the film, the shift to decentralisation of our renewable energy sources is very beneficial for the future of our planet. From farm bots watering your garden to sun chasing plant bots, we need to merge and work with our technology if we want to see a brighter future.
As mentioned in my tweets, when thinking about the future, especially incorporating the use of robots into our life, a common misconception is that jobs will be taken over. But as mentioned in 2040 it really means more jobs and new jobs!