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The long way to The Last Machine

Pop culture has been fascinated by Artificial Intelligence for a long time. Here are three movies, three books and an eerie news story that look at AI from very different angles.



MOVIES

Of course, Artificial Intelligence is at the core of some of most amazing Sci-Fi movies: 2001, 2010, Ex Machina and of course the two wonderful Bladerunner movies, to name just a few. So I am not going to recommend any of the obvious. Here are three movies that might be sailing a little bit in the shadow of the legends.


Dark Star (John Carpenter, 1973)

This is an absolute cult classic - made with a budget of $60'000. Visuals, specials effects and most of the acting is hilarious. But at the core there is an existentialist discussion between a synthetic intelligence and the captain of the ship which is brilliant.


You find the movie on all usual platforms to download or - if you want to stream it - here: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x39408j



Moon (Duncan Jones, 2009)

Moon is a quiet gem with Sam Rockwell in one of his most impressive roles. The masterful movie, directed by David Bowie's son Duncan Jones, turns some of the ethical questions around AI into an emotional rollercoaster.



The Imitation Game (Morten Tyldum, 2014)

This movie, with a brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch, takes us back to the early days of computing. Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, the outstanding and rather shrewd mathematician who succeeded in breaking Enigma, the encoding machine that the Nazi regime used to transmit all their secret messages. With this breakthrough Turing and his small team saved hundreds of thousands of lives and shortened the second world war. His "Turing machine" is the basis of today's computers and the revolution of AI.



BOOKS

For those of you who still read (yeah, I know, dead trees etc.), here are three very entertaining, thought-provoking recent novels that circle around AI (Btw: they are all available as audiobooks, if you prefer that format).

Ian McEwan - Machines like me

Ian McEwans 2019 novel is set in the 1980s in an alternative UK where Alan Turing is still alive, and the Internet, social media and self-driving cars already exist.


The story revolves around the android Adam and its increasingly complicated relationship with its owners, as they are slowly becoming a love triangle.


Can you fall in love with a machine? Can you betray it? Can you kill it?







Jeanette Winterson - Frankisstein

Winterson's book is a wild ride through the ethical universe of Artificial Intelligence - bold, fiercely funny and highly entertaining.


It all starts in 1816, when nineteen-year-old Mary Shelley writes a story about the creation of an artificial life-form, Frankenstein's monster.

Much later, in Brexit Britain, a young transgender doctor is falling in love with Victor Stein, a celebrated professor leading the public debate around AI and carrying out strange experiments in a vast underground network of tunnels.

Then there is Ron Lord, freshly divorced and living with his Mum, trying to make his fortune with a new generation of life-like sex dolls. And in Phoenix, Arizona, a cryogenics facility houses dozens of bodies of men and women who are medically and legally dead… but waiting to return to life.



John Marrs - The Passengers

It's a frightening scenario: You’re riding in your self-driving car when suddenly the doors lock, the route changes and you have lost all control.


Eight people find themselves in this terrifying situation, including a faded TV star, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an undocumented immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man.


The cars are racing towards a location where they all will collide.


Who will live, who will die? Who will decide?


Marrs' book is first and foremost a very well written thriller. But of course it is based on the moral decisions that self driving cars will have to take in the case of an accident: Shall I protect my passenger and kill the pedestrian? If I need to choose between different pedestrians - who do I kill?



AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST....

'It's the screams of the damned!'


The eerie AI world of deepfake music is covered in this excellent piece for the Guardian here

"Artificial intelligence is being used to create new songs seemingly performed by Frank Sinatra and other dead stars. ‘Deepfakes’ are cute tricks – but they could change pop for ever...?




We hope you find something interesting in these suggestions! If you have movies and books that you would like to recommend, please get in touch with us via 'general info' on contact page - we'd love to hear from you!


And finally, as always, I thank you very much for your support and wish you all the best - kind regards,


Sonarpilot

'The Last Machine' by Sonarpilot is out now. Experience the full video in HD here



The soundtrack to The Last Machine is also out now and available to buy/stream from all major digital music platforms


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Till next time, take care!

The Mirage Project