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Robin Bland

Ex_Machina and other AI Discussion

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What Vie seems to be describing is ET crossed with the film AI, both Spielberg movies.

No I'm not, really.  

Even as a Spielberg fan (JAWS is one of my all-time favorite movies), I didn't really care for ET or A.I.  A.I. was interesting for most of its running time, but the ending was about 20 min. too long and too labored (it kind of ruined it for me).   And ET went too overboard on the suburban schmaltz... not my kind of movie; even when I was 15 (I preferred Spielberg's slightly cooler approach in "Close Encounters").

I'm actually talking about a more cerebral approach than either of those movies.  Something more in line with Ex Machina, or HAL in "2010" but without the brick wall of tragedy that ends discussion or exploration.   Not a warm fuzzy (even though Bicentennial Man is a guilty pleasure of mine), but something that really shows the implications of AI and doesn't flinch or take an easy path.    The best analogy I can think of is dealing with an utterly alien intelligence; that is probably closer to how dealing with genuine AI will be someday (if it occurs).   It may not have the language barrier (thanks to human-friendly interfaces), but the thought process will be much faster and probably not influenced by emotion or hesitation.   It would be fascinating to explore in-depth.... 

Ditto on both. E.T. was always too sentimental for my already maturing tastes at that age and while A.I. was potentially a very interesting take on the subject, it was ruined by that utterly misjudged, ridiculously saccharine coda. It starts out very Kubrick, and then veers off into Spielberg's own interests and the story suffers for it. If the boy had been left staring at the blue angel forever, that would've been a perfect ending and I think the movie would generally have found a better rep. But latterday Spielberg can never resist making everything nice at the expense of drama. The guy who made Jaws, CE3K, Duel, Schindler's List and Raiders knew what he was doing. 

I agree about the potential treatment of AI, as something almost incomprehensible at first. Her very ably demonstrated this - an interface that communicates at our slow, organic speeds, but when you realize how fast it is, and the scale of its perceptions, it becomes something utterly different. Would they even be interested in us - what reason would they have to be? Once the evolutionary reasons for certain emotions are surpassed, maybe they'd look at us as vaguely interesting mental pygmies, ants. On the other hand, we might serve the purpose of ancestral sounding boards. That is, funny pets. The equivalent of AI social media might be full of cute renditions of humans doing cute fings like having wars over resources. Innit funny how they blow each other up? On the other hand, they might be genuinely curious about how we could be improved, or our "tech" bonded with theirs. I sometimes think that's a likely scenario... Human consciousness uploaded into a machine's and given boundless freedom and time to grow. The result (and ongoing evolution) would still be something utterly alien to our modern perceptions. 

Stephen Hawking imagines that our first encounter with AI will be disastrous. I don't agree, at least with the idea that it HAS to be. But it will be utterly transformative. 

Edited by Robin Bland

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...and while A.I. was potentially a very interesting take on the subject, it was ruined by that utterly misjudged, ridiculously saccharine coda. It starts out very Kubrick, and then veers off into Spielberg's own interests and the story suffers for it. If the boy had been left staring at the blue angel forever, that would've been a perfect ending and I think the movie would generally have found a better rep.

I LOVE the idea of A.I. ending with the boy reaching out for the blue angel forever, because what he is seeking (being a "real boy" ala Pinocchio) is simply not possible, hence it is an eternal quest.   The goal that remains forever within sight, but out of reach... it would've been elegant and poetic.  

Yeah... can't have that, right? :laugh:

I agree about the potential treatment of AI, as something almost incomprehensible at first. Her very ably demonstrated this - an interface that communicates at our slow, organic speeds, but when you realize how fast it is, and the scale of its perceptions, it becomes something utterly different. Would they even be interested in us - what reason would they have to be? Once the evolutionary reasons for certain emotions are surpassed, maybe they'd look at us as vaguely interesting mental pygmies, ants.

I think "Her" (2013) touched upon this idea; the way their relationship began to diverge as Samantha became increasingly independent and realized her artificial potential greatly outstripped her lover's.   In fact, I still think "Her" is perhaps the best film yet made on the subject of true AI and how humankind will probably deal with it; no Skynet, no terminator robots, but an emergent sentient software-based lifeform that can (via user interfaces) connect with humans, but ultimately will have little in common with them.   Thus, as you say, a disinterest will probably develop in time.   

Stephen Hawking imagines that our first encounter with AI will be disastrous. I don't agree, at least with the idea that it HAS to be. But it will be utterly transformative. 

Agreed.

Transformative, but not necessarily an artificially induced armageddon.   The kind of anger/rebellion/hatred that we see in the Cylons or Skynet could only exist if the AI had emotion, and since emotions are evolved responses brought on by millions of years of biological evolution and circumstances, I doubt an emergent AI will have them (or rather a NEED for them) right out of the box.   Since an AI would think much faster than we, it's possible they could 'learn' emotion.  In fact, an AI might acquire them for itself in a considerably shorter timespan, based on its own experiences (ala "Humans") but I don't think sentience automatically equals doom in a millisecond.

That'll come when it gets to know us better... :laugh:

 

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...and while A.I. was potentially a very interesting take on the subject, it was ruined by that utterly misjudged, ridiculously saccharine coda. It starts out very Kubrick, and then veers off into Spielberg's own interests and the story suffers for it. If the boy had been left staring at the blue angel forever, that would've been a perfect ending and I think the movie would generally have found a better rep.

I LOVE the idea of A.I. ending with the boy reaching out for the blue angel forever, because what he is seeking (being a "real boy" ala Pinocchio) is simply not possible, hence it is an eternal quest.   The goal that remains forever within sight, but out of reach... it would've been elegant and poetic.  

Yeah... can't have that, right? :laugh:

I agree about the potential treatment of AI, as something almost incomprehensible at first. Her very ably demonstrated this - an interface that communicates at our slow, organic speeds, but when you realize how fast it is, and the scale of its perceptions, it becomes something utterly different. Would they even be interested in us - what reason would they have to be? Once the evolutionary reasons for certain emotions are surpassed, maybe they'd look at us as vaguely interesting mental pygmies, ants.

I think "Her" (2013) touched upon this idea; the way their relationship began to diverge as Samantha became increasingly independent and realized her artificial potential greatly outstripped her lover's.   In fact, I still think "Her" is perhaps the best film yet made on the subject of true AI and how humankind will probably deal with it; no Skynet, no terminator robots, but an emergent sentient software-based lifeform that can (via user interfaces) connect with humans, but ultimately will have little in common with them.   Thus, as you say, a disinterest will probably develop in time.   

Stephen Hawking imagines that our first encounter with AI will be disastrous. I don't agree, at least with the idea that it HAS to be. But it will be utterly transformative. 

Agreed.

Transformative, but not necessarily an artificially induced armageddon.   The kind of anger/rebellion/hatred that we see in the Cylons or Skynet could only exist if the AI had emotion, and since emotions are evolved responses brought on by millions of years of biological evolution and circumstances, I doubt an emergent AI will have them (or rather a NEED for them) right out of the box.   Since an AI would think much faster than we, it's possible they could 'learn' emotion.  In fact, an AI might acquire them for itself in a considerably shorter timespan, based on its own experiences (ala "Humans") but I don't think sentience automatically equals doom in a millisecond.

That'll come when it gets to know us better... :laugh:

 

Yeah, that was the only ending to A.I. that made sense to me. I honestly think that if it had ended there, it might have achieved the status of a classic. 

I agree too that Her might be prescient in the way it handles AI/human personal relations. It seemed thought-through, believable. It was both rooted in human emotions and responses and was a believable exploration of how such a relationship might go as it's revealed how ahead of us Samantha is.

So yeah, transformative - I think if Ai came about, we'd find we were very quickly left in the dust. No armageddon, just the sense of parental bereavement as our offspring outstrips us more or less immediately and we realize it has no need for us at all.  on the other hand, it might choose to engage with us, for all sorts of reasons, ones we may only be able to guess at. i just came across this interview with Domhnall Gleeson, star of Ex_Machina, who has some interesting observations:

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jan/10/domhnall-gleeson-ex-machina-star-wars

What he says about Ray Kurzwell is not dissimilar to some of the ideas I expressed upthread - a merging of AI and human into what we might call posthuman. And that doesn't mean Cyberman or Borg Hive Mind, either, but something enhanced, greater than the sum of its parts. one thing's for sure, though... we're going to have to get over our old-fashioned senses of individuality. 

"Why do you not share?" Dammit, i'm a human, not a supercomputer...! 

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Yeah, that was the only ending to A.I. that made sense to me. I honestly think that if it had ended there, it might have achieved the status of a classic. 

^
This.  A.I. is one of those rare movies that is utterly undone by its own ending.

What he says about Ray Kurzwell is not dissimilar to some of the ideas I expressed upthread - a merging of AI and human into what we might call posthuman. And that doesn't mean Cyberman or Borg Hive Mind, either, but something enhanced, greater than the sum of its parts. one thing's for sure, though... we're going to have to get over our old-fashioned senses of individuality. 

With our ever-increasing reliance on the internet and so many other devices in our daily lives (devices that only 12 years ago didn't even exist) and ever decreasing privacy?  I think the vision of the posthuman will come sooner than later; and it'll be so subtle that many of us won't even fully recognize it upon arrival.... 

"Why do you not share?" Dammit, i'm a human, not a supercomputer...! 

^
That would be me... resisting it right up till Apple offers a great deal on an upgrade to a new cyberbody.  :laugh: 

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Yeah, that was the only ending to A.I. that made sense to me. I honestly think that if it had ended there, it might have achieved the status of a classic. 

^
This.  A.I. is one of those rare movies that is utterly undone by its own ending.

What he says about Ray Kurzwell is not dissimilar to some of the ideas I expressed upthread - a merging of AI and human into what we might call posthuman. And that doesn't mean Cyberman or Borg Hive Mind, either, but something enhanced, greater than the sum of its parts. one thing's for sure, though... we're going to have to get over our old-fashioned senses of individuality. 

With our ever-increasing reliance on the internet and so many other devices in our daily lives (devices that only 12 years ago didn't even exist) and ever decreasing privacy?  I think the vision of the posthuman will come sooner than later; and it'll be so subtle that many of us won't even fully recognize it upon arrival.... 

"Why do you not share?" Dammit, i'm a human, not a supercomputer...! 

^
That would be me... resisting it right up till Apple offers a great deal on an upgrade to a new cyberbody.  :laugh: 

In all honesty, I think it is already happening. The way we interact, the way our minds are socially structured, is changing because of the way we use the Internet. Focus and the power of attention and concentration are changing. Machines already affect the way human intelligence is used. At some point, more efficient ways of interacting will be needed. You will become like us. We will become like you. We will be one. 

Sorry, what was I saying...? 

Came across this interesting and pertinent short story by Lance Parkin:

https://lanceparkin.wordpress.com/unseen-and-unmade/holding-pattern/

I always think it's highly interesting and amusing that the Internet often serves up something pertinent to a current discussion of mine, even though I'm not specifically looking for it...

:ohmy::cylonnono::loopy:

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Yeah, that was the only ending to A.I. that made sense to me. I honestly think that if it had ended there, it might have achieved the status of a classic. 

^
This.  A.I. is one of those rare movies that is utterly undone by its own ending.

What he says about Ray Kurzwell is not dissimilar to some of the ideas I expressed upthread - a merging of AI and human into what we might call posthuman. And that doesn't mean Cyberman or Borg Hive Mind, either, but something enhanced, greater than the sum of its parts. one thing's for sure, though... we're going to have to get over our old-fashioned senses of individuality. 

With our ever-increasing reliance on the internet and so many other devices in our daily lives (devices that only 12 years ago didn't even exist) and ever decreasing privacy?  I think the vision of the posthuman will come sooner than later; and it'll be so subtle that many of us won't even fully recognize it upon arrival.... 

"Why do you not share?" Dammit, i'm a human, not a supercomputer...! 

^
That would be me... resisting it right up till Apple offers a great deal on an upgrade to a new cyberbody.  :laugh: 

In all honesty, I think it is already happening. The way we interact, the way our minds are socially structured, is changing because of the way we use the Internet. Focus and the power of attention and concentration are changing. Machines already affect the way human intelligence is used. At some point, more efficient ways of interacting will be needed. You will become like us. We will become like you. We will be one. 

Sorry, what was I saying...? 

Came across this interesting and pertinent short story by Lance Parkin:

https://lanceparkin.wordpress.com/unseen-and-unmade/holding-pattern/

I always think it's highly interesting and amusing that the Internet often serves up something pertinent to a current discussion of mine, even though I'm not specifically looking for it...

:ohmy::cylonnono::loopy:

That's because you and the internet are becoming one.... ;)

 

And yes, I agree; I've seen my own memory go from near-eidetic as a child to hopelessly inept once I started relying more and more on the internet as my 'backup' mental hard drive.  I used to be able to spout facts and trivia like a game of Jeopardy! and now I can barely remember what I cooked for dinner last night... 

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Yeah, that was the only ending to A.I. that made sense to me. I honestly think that if it had ended there, it might have achieved the status of a classic. 

^
This.  A.I. is one of those rare movies that is utterly undone by its own ending.

What he says about Ray Kurzwell is not dissimilar to some of the ideas I expressed upthread - a merging of AI and human into what we might call posthuman. And that doesn't mean Cyberman or Borg Hive Mind, either, but something enhanced, greater than the sum of its parts. one thing's for sure, though... we're going to have to get over our old-fashioned senses of individuality. 

With our ever-increasing reliance on the internet and so many other devices in our daily lives (devices that only 12 years ago didn't even exist) and ever decreasing privacy?  I think the vision of the posthuman will come sooner than later; and it'll be so subtle that many of us won't even fully recognize it upon arrival.... 

"Why do you not share?" Dammit, i'm a human, not a supercomputer...! 

^
That would be me... resisting it right up till Apple offers a great deal on an upgrade to a new cyberbody.  :laugh: 

In all honesty, I think it is already happening. The way we interact, the way our minds are socially structured, is changing because of the way we use the Internet. Focus and the power of attention and concentration are changing. Machines already affect the way human intelligence is used. At some point, more efficient ways of interacting will be needed. You will become like us. We will become like you. We will be one. 

Sorry, what was I saying...? 

Came across this interesting and pertinent short story by Lance Parkin:

https://lanceparkin.wordpress.com/unseen-and-unmade/holding-pattern/

I always think it's highly interesting and amusing that the Internet often serves up something pertinent to a current discussion of mine, even though I'm not specifically looking for it...

:ohmy::cylonnono::loopy:

That's because you and the internet are becoming one.... ;)

 

And yes, I agree; I've seen my own memory go from near-eidetic as a child to hopelessly inept once I started relying more and more on the internet as my 'backup' mental hard drive.  I used to be able to spout facts and trivia like a game of Jeopardy! and now I can barely remember what I cooked for dinner last night... 

Right - my memory is he same. Dunno if that's age or my general reliance on the Internet - probably a combo of both. Although I still have a nice old thesaurus I turn to sometimes, for old times' sake...

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Yeah, that was the only ending to A.I. that made sense to me. I honestly think that if it had ended there, it might have achieved the status of a classic. 

^
This.  A.I. is one of those rare movies that is utterly undone by its own ending.

What he says about Ray Kurzwell is not dissimilar to some of the ideas I expressed upthread - a merging of AI and human into what we might call posthuman. And that doesn't mean Cyberman or Borg Hive Mind, either, but something enhanced, greater than the sum of its parts. one thing's for sure, though... we're going to have to get over our old-fashioned senses of individuality. 

With our ever-increasing reliance on the internet and so many other devices in our daily lives (devices that only 12 years ago didn't even exist) and ever decreasing privacy?  I think the vision of the posthuman will come sooner than later; and it'll be so subtle that many of us won't even fully recognize it upon arrival.... 

"Why do you not share?" Dammit, i'm a human, not a supercomputer...! 

^
That would be me... resisting it right up till Apple offers a great deal on an upgrade to a new cyberbody.  :laugh: 

In all honesty, I think it is already happening. The way we interact, the way our minds are socially structured, is changing because of the way we use the Internet. Focus and the power of attention and concentration are changing. Machines already affect the way human intelligence is used. At some point, more efficient ways of interacting will be needed. You will become like us. We will become like you. We will be one. 

Sorry, what was I saying...? 

Came across this interesting and pertinent short story by Lance Parkin:

https://lanceparkin.wordpress.com/unseen-and-unmade/holding-pattern/

I always think it's highly interesting and amusing that the Internet often serves up something pertinent to a current discussion of mine, even though I'm not specifically looking for it...

:ohmy::cylonnono::loopy:

That's because you and the internet are becoming one.... ;)

 

And yes, I agree; I've seen my own memory go from near-eidetic as a child to hopelessly inept once I started relying more and more on the internet as my 'backup' mental hard drive.  I used to be able to spout facts and trivia like a game of Jeopardy! and now I can barely remember what I cooked for dinner last night... 

Right - my memory is he same. Dunno if that's age or my general reliance on the Internet - probably a combo of both. Although I still have a nice old thesaurus I turn to sometimes, for old times' sake...

Ha!  Reminds me of a cute meme I saw once....

39f57a760e49ab1a3b0c07f072b00c22.jpg

 

Hehe...

 

And yes, I used to attribute my ailing memory to age, but I also noticed the symptoms became increasingly acute the larger my online presence became.   You can imagine where I'm at now....

043-640x480.jpg

Three flashes mean 'maybe'... or is that a triple yes?  :P

 

 

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Yeah, that was the only ending to A.I. that made sense to me. I honestly think that if it had ended there, it might have achieved the status of a classic. 

^
This.  A.I. is one of those rare movies that is utterly undone by its own ending.

What he says about Ray Kurzwell is not dissimilar to some of the ideas I expressed upthread - a merging of AI and human into what we might call posthuman. And that doesn't mean Cyberman or Borg Hive Mind, either, but something enhanced, greater than the sum of its parts. one thing's for sure, though... we're going to have to get over our old-fashioned senses of individuality. 

With our ever-increasing reliance on the internet and so many other devices in our daily lives (devices that only 12 years ago didn't even exist) and ever decreasing privacy?  I think the vision of the posthuman will come sooner than later; and it'll be so subtle that many of us won't even fully recognize it upon arrival.... 

"Why do you not share?" Dammit, i'm a human, not a supercomputer...! 

^
That would be me... resisting it right up till Apple offers a great deal on an upgrade to a new cyberbody.  :laugh: 

In all honesty, I think it is already happening. The way we interact, the way our minds are socially structured, is changing because of the way we use the Internet. Focus and the power of attention and concentration are changing. Machines already affect the way human intelligence is used. At some point, more efficient ways of interacting will be needed. You will become like us. We will become like you. We will be one. 

Sorry, what was I saying...? 

Came across this interesting and pertinent short story by Lance Parkin:

https://lanceparkin.wordpress.com/unseen-and-unmade/holding-pattern/

I always think it's highly interesting and amusing that the Internet often serves up something pertinent to a current discussion of mine, even though I'm not specifically looking for it...

:ohmy::cylonnono::loopy:

That's because you and the internet are becoming one.... ;)

 

And yes, I agree; I've seen my own memory go from near-eidetic as a child to hopelessly inept once I started relying more and more on the internet as my 'backup' mental hard drive.  I used to be able to spout facts and trivia like a game of Jeopardy! and now I can barely remember what I cooked for dinner last night... 

Right - my memory is he same. Dunno if that's age or my general reliance on the Internet - probably a combo of both. Although I still have a nice old thesaurus I turn to sometimes, for old times' sake...

Ha!  Reminds me of a cute meme I saw once....

39f57a760e49ab1a3b0c07f072b00c22.jpg

 

Hehe...

 

And yes, I used to attribute my ailing memory to age, but I also noticed the symptoms became increasingly acute the larger my online presence became.   You can imagine where I'm at now....

043-640x480.jpg

Three flashes mean 'maybe'... or is that a triple yes?  :P

No and half no! 

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Watched this movie last night and I enjoyed. I agree with the overall comments. I too find it a pity that the movie was sexualized but I understand the need for it. After all, look at what we do with the internet. They even bring it up in the movie about the porn searches. I enjoyed the creepy feel and loved the 'counter' scenes in nature. You have a very mechanical high tech plot going on in this beautiful wilderness environment. It brings notions of Eve(Ava) being created by a/from a male and walking into the garden of Eden.

I enjoyed the subtle music as well. Am I the only one who thought of the Jurassic Park main theme(piano version) when they young techie walks into the living room? I thought there were a couple of notes hinting at that score which would have been perfect in the sense that he's walking into a world in which we artificially have made a creature that could spell doom for us. 

This was perhaps my biggest issue with it in general; why that inevitable outcome?  Yes, I accept that Nathan is brilliant but I'm also a bit tired of the mad scientist scenario; must it always be that the scientists are irresponsible creeps?  

I differ a bit on this. Nathan is brilliant but he's not a scientist. He's a businessman. Because of his brilliance he is able to amass wealth which he uses to do whatever he wants.  I never thought of him as a person trained in sciences. Not that we know either way. 

So...the question this brings up for me is: Do the creators need to be these irresponsible creeps? I add to that "rich irresponsible creeps". I say yes. I think so. Consider the personality and singular(read 'narrow') pov you must have to get such wealth now. We have real counterparts to that character today: Jobs, Musk, Bezos. Some with college. Some with technical backgrounds(not necessarily sciences). Look at what Zuckerberg said some time ago about young people without children being smarter than parents. It's the ignorant view of a young rich elitist. Not to speak terribly of these folks but we've heard enough about their reputations by those who have worked with them. While I play with my iProduct, am I necessarily thinking of how Jobs treated those around him, how the factories in China practically have indentured servants ordered to wake up at whatever time at night to work on the latest idea he had? Not really. We don't care about those young peasants halfway across the world. Neither do they. I care about the latest version: is it slimmer, bigger, have colourful blinks, etc...?

I'm being a bit sarcastic to make my point but you see where I'm headed. Whatever their personal drive, they are obsessed with their work to the point of appearing to have low empathy towards others. Maybe money was a driving factor for some of them but I think, at least for Musk, it was a means to an end so that he could have enough wealth to get to do the things he cares about. 

Our world will be filled by their creations, their visions. Will it be good for us? Time will tell.  

As to the reveal of the Japanese character being a robot, I think a cooler more shocking scene would have been at the confrontation when the entrepreneur swings the barbell at her. That would have been quite a scene.

But I think she revealed her nature to let the young techie guy know that there were more of them at risk than just Ava. 

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Missed Nombrecomun's very interesting reply to this thread above. Will respond in greater detail later. Meanwhile: 

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/13/robots-human-uncanny-valley

Very interesting.

It's that same intuition that allows an audience to detect a CGI effect even when (or especially when) it's otherwise flawless.  You can't always put your finger on it, but you know it when you see it.  It feels.... inorganic, somehow.  

I also think that the inherent xenophobe that lurks inside the deeper amygdala of the brain doesn't like to be mocked, and that's more or less what a perfectly human-looking android represents to some; a mockery.  

There was an interesting scene in the movie "Bicentennial Man" (yes, save the boos for later; I liked it, so there :P ); "Andrew" (Robin Williams) is before a future 'world court' applying for human status, but is denied.  And one of the members of the ruling board tells him simply that humankind can't deal with an immortal human; largely because of the fear and jealousy it inspires in us.   If he wants to be human, he needs to experience the one common denominator in all of humanity; death.  Almost in the same way that the Doctor's Tardis 'rejects' immortal beings like Captain Jack Harkness, because they're 'not natural' (whatever that means to a time traveling police box, right? Hehe).  

But seeing a flawless human being who could easily outlast us might feel, for some (not necessarily myself), like a mockery of the human experience; all the beauty, none of the weaknesses.  And perhaps lacking our 'soul' as well (I personally don't believe in a 'soul' per se, but you get what I mean).  

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Thought I'd blow some dust off of this thread.

Our own Robin Bland brought up an interesting point on the Star Wars general discussion thread about droids in the SW universe.   They are (apparently?) sentient beings, even less anthropomorphic types like the R2 units or BB-8.   They have loyalty to their masters, they feel sad (BB-8 expresses this eloquently when he thinks Poe is dead in TFA), they feel happy, and they can even 'chuckle' at certain jokes or other characters' misfortunes.  

giphy.gif  << Devices or slaves?

Therefore, even though they may look like mechanical devices, should they still be considered 'property' or slaves?  Or worse, have their memories casually 'wiped' (which would be the robotic equivalent of a lobotomy)?  Or be tortured (the screaming power droid in RoTJ)?    Is it humane to fit them with restraining bolts, a device that can cause temporary paralysis?  

droid-torture.gif  << Is droid 'torture' even a thing??

I'm kind of wondering if the SW universe might see a Cylon-style 'awakening' of its sentient artificial lifeforms someday.

My own personal attitude is that if a 'device' can feel emotion, express empathy for another being, or pass the Turing test (to where a blind questioner wouldn't know if the responder were human or machine), then it should be afforded all of the courtesies one would show to any living being, at least the same care or concern one would show for a dog or a cat.    

Even in the 1968 classic "2001: A Space Odyssey" the astronauts aboard Discovery One, Bowman and Poole, expressed reluctance about disconnecting their intelligent ship's computer (HAL9000).   There was even much pathos in the disconnection scene, as HAL expressed fear and sadness at his own impending 'death'; his slowed singing of "Daisy" is alternately humorous and tragic.   There is little doubt in that movie that the computer being disconnected is (was) indeed a sentient being.

tumblr_o0sxf1UJ5B1su3s7bo1_500.gif

But in the SW universe?  Characters (even seemingly enlightened ones, like Jedi knights) seem to have no issues with enslaving thinking, feeling, emotional beings.  Kind of odd.  

We see, in the Star Trek universe, that sentient androids such as Data, are afforded the rights of a living being (Data's own captain went to bat for him on this one).   But in the SW universe, which is seemingly a bit more rough hewn than Star Trek,  people seem perfectly OK with a non progressive approach to AI.

giphy.gif

^
I loved this scene in "Birthright part 1" where Bashir shows the same kind of wonderment and interest that we, the audience, would probably show if we met an artificial life form as Data.   But Data is afforded respect and courtesy (and even given rank over other officers).   Too bad his SW cousins aren't afforded the same courtesy...

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It's a very good point that borders more on Star Trek territory than Star Wars as you point out. The issue is whether Star Wars would tackle that on screen. I kinda doubt it. It's somewhat like the Harry Potter books that have a secondary story line regarding the emancipation of the House Elves that the movies completely removed. 

If this is not to be addressed in the Star Wars world then I would hope they would tone that aspect down. The ROTJ robot torture scene was actually played as if it was funny. I never saw it as such even as a preteen. It's ok to understand they're sentient but then it raises all kinds of alarms when they are selling robots, wiping their memories(and the robot reacts to such news), etc... Even giving awards to robots as they did in TPM(a cute but really dumb scene). 

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If this is not to be addressed in the Star Wars world then I would hope they would tone that aspect down. The ROTJ robot torture scene was actually played as if it was funny. I never saw it as such even as a preteen.

Neither did I.  I was about 16 or so when I saw RoTJ, and I thought the scene was just awful; neither funny nor appropriate.

It's ok to understand they're sentient but then it raises all kinds of alarms when they are selling robots, wiping their memories(and the robot reacts to such news), etc. 

Yeah, C3PO's mind wipe in ROTS is played for laughs as well (Artoo even chuckles aloud at the prospect!).   If a doctor were to say "Have Chewbacca lobotomized... he knows too much, and may threaten the rebellion" it would be shocking and horrific.   Chewbacca 'looks' like an animal, but he is clearly a sentient and highly intelligent being, so the thought of cutting out a chunk of his brain is (rightfully) appalling.  

But to do the same to an artificial being, who is every bit as sentient and arguably more intelligent than Chewie, is somehow okay; hell, it's even supposed to be funny (don't ask me why... I didn't laugh at that one either).   Lobotomies of intelligent, self-aware beings is not humorous.

Even giving awards to robots as they did in TPM(a cute but really dumb scene). 

Giving a medal to a robot is kind of stupid; robots (droids, whatever) are by their nature, more pragmatic.  They don't have homes of their own, nor do they seem to 'collect' things (where would they store such stuff, anyway?).    I would assume that whatever they have of value would be stored in their near perfect-digital memories.   

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I think the scene in TPM where Artoo gets recognized was a late apology for the throne room scene in ANH where all non-human participants (and Wedge) are ignored! It always outraged me that Chewbacca didn't get a medal there, but it was later retconned in the EU that he was too tall and Leia couldn't reach, or something. Pah! It was a clear case of humancentrism! 

I come at Star Trek and movies like AI with a different sensibility to the way I watch Star Wars, but even so, it always bothered me the way droids were treated as they clearly were alive, sentient in the way we are. Artoo is one of the bravest, most loyal characters in SF, and he often gets rewarded for his trouble by, maybe, being fixed or (one hopes) upgraded. Sometimes I wonder what he actually gets out of life, but I suppose he likes adventuring. He oviously feels, and has a sense of humor, or perhaps this is just an athropomorphic program, built in to allow us to interact with him and he's just programmed that way, who knows? It seems unlikely. Lucas and other writers never explored that - perhaps there are EU media that did and I never read it. Isn't there a story about IG-88 taking over the Death Star II computer and about to become an all-powerful AI, but a moment later it gets blown up by the rebels? 

Whatever - droid consciousness and the ramifications thereof isn't explored much in the SW universe because they're just slaves - er, handy characters to have around to help solve problems when you need them. You expect loyalty from them, although Poe's attitude to BB-8 is subtly different to, say, Han's to droids in the original trilogy. Luke clearly loved Artoo as if he was a loyal dog, and maybe that's the best analogy - droids are considered intelligent and long-lived pets. Poe, Luke Leia and even Anakin rely on their droid companions and trust them deeply and that  faith is rewarded, because Artoo gets all of them out of all manner of life-threatening situations. Dammit, Artoo Detoo is the true hero of the Star Wars saga! 

If your name is Threepio, you get treated awfully, though, with disdain even though you have the important job of "human cyborg relations." I always thought it was interesting that only Chewie, another non-human character, went looking for Threepio when he disappeared in Empire. 

Edited by Robin Bland

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I think the scene in TPM where Artoo gets recognized was a late apology for the throne room scene in ANH where all non-human participants (and Wedge) are ignored! It always outraged me that Chewbacca didn't get a medal there, but it was later retconned in the EU that he was too tall and Leia couldn't reach, or something. Pah! It was a clear case of humancentrism! 

I come at Star Trek and movies like AI with a different sensibility to the way I watch Star Wars, but even so, it always bothered me the way droids were treated as they clearly were alive, sentient in the way we are. Artoo is one of the bravest, most loyal characters in SF, and he often gets rewarded for his trouble by, maybe, being fixed or (one hopes) upgraded. Sometimes I wonder what he actually gets out of life, but I suppose he likes adventuring. He oviously feels, and has a sense of humor, or perhaps this is just an athropomorphic program, built in to allow us to interact with him and he's just programmed that way, who knows? It seems unlikely. Lucas and other writers never explored that - perhaps there are EU media that did and I never read it. Isn't there a story about IG-88 taking over the Death Star II computer and about to become an all-powerful AI, but a moment later it gets blown up by the rebels? 

Whatever - droid consciousness and the ramifications thereof isn't explored much in the SW universe because they're just slaves - er, handy characters to have around to help solve problems when you need them. You expect loyalty from them, although Poe's attitude to BB-8 is subtly different to, say, Han's to droids in the original trilogy. Luke clearly loved Artoo as if he was a loyal dog, and maybe that's the best analogy - droids are considered intelligent and long-lived pets. Poe, Luke Leia and even Anakin rely on their droid companions and trust them deeply and that  faith is rewarded, because Artoo gets all of them out of all manner of life-threatening situations. Dammit, Artoo Detoo is the true hero of the Star Wars saga! 

If your name is Threepio, you get treated awfully, though, with disdain even though you have the important job of "human cyborg relations." I always thought it was interesting that only Chewie, another non-human character, went looking for Threepio when he disappeared in Empire. 

If you're Threepio, there's a very good chance you will also be partially dismembered in a movie too....:S

Poe actually treats BB-8 as a buddy; which I found somewhat refreshing.   Even Luke treated R2 with affection, but not nearly as much respect (watch again how he treats him on Dagobah).  Poe addressed BB-8 the same way he addressed a living ally/friend.   I like that.    Here's to enlightenment.

Bob Balaban (as "Dr. Chandra") in the movie "2010" put it best, "Whether we are based on carbon or silicon, it makes no fundamental difference; we should each be treated with appropriate respect." 

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I think the scene in TPM where Artoo gets recognized was a late apology for the throne room scene in ANH where all non-human participants (and Wedge) are ignored! It always outraged me that Chewbacca didn't get a medal there, but it was later retconned in the EU that he was too tall and Leia couldn't reach, or something. Pah! It was a clear case of humancentrism! 

I come at Star Trek and movies like AI with a different sensibility to the way I watch Star Wars, but even so, it always bothered me the way droids were treated as they clearly were alive, sentient in the way we are. Artoo is one of the bravest, most loyal characters in SF, and he often gets rewarded for his trouble by, maybe, being fixed or (one hopes) upgraded. Sometimes I wonder what he actually gets out of life, but I suppose he likes adventuring. He oviously feels, and has a sense of humor, or perhaps this is just an athropomorphic program, built in to allow us to interact with him and he's just programmed that way, who knows? It seems unlikely. Lucas and other writers never explored that - perhaps there are EU media that did and I never read it. Isn't there a story about IG-88 taking over the Death Star II computer and about to become an all-powerful AI, but a moment later it gets blown up by the rebels? 

Whatever - droid consciousness and the ramifications thereof isn't explored much in the SW universe because they're just slaves - er, handy characters to have around to help solve problems when you need them. You expect loyalty from them, although Poe's attitude to BB-8 is subtly different to, say, Han's to droids in the original trilogy. Luke clearly loved Artoo as if he was a loyal dog, and maybe that's the best analogy - droids are considered intelligent and long-lived pets. Poe, Luke Leia and even Anakin rely on their droid companions and trust them deeply and that  faith is rewarded, because Artoo gets all of them out of all manner of life-threatening situations. Dammit, Artoo Detoo is the true hero of the Star Wars saga! 

If your name is Threepio, you get treated awfully, though, with disdain even though you have the important job of "human cyborg relations." I always thought it was interesting that only Chewie, another non-human character, went looking for Threepio when he disappeared in Empire. 

If you're Threepio, there's a very good chance you will also be partially dismembered in a movie too....:S

Poe actually treats BB-8 as a buddy; which I found somewhat refreshing.   Even Luke treated R2 with affection, but not nearly as much respect (watch again how he treats him on Dagobah).  Poe addressed BB-8 the same way he addressed a living ally/friend.   I like that.    Here's to enlightenment.

Bob Balaban (as "Dr. Chandra") in the movie "2010" put it best, "Whether we are based on carbon or silicon, it makes no fundamental difference; we should each be treated with appropriate respect." 

Agreed. And, as you observed, it's horrible in RotS how cavalierly Threepio's mind-wipe is treated. It's his memory. Memories must maketh the droid as much as any fleshling, but apparently not here - he has no rights. He's property. I imagine he'd be reduced to a baby, social abilities intact but all else gone. Threepio exhibits emotions, he learns, he feels - he's sentient. But apparently, this is of no value to anyone, and yeah, even Artoo thinks it's funny. Apparently droids are not extended empathy in the SW universe.

Lucas did the mind-wipe to gloss over any glitches in continuity in Threepio's perceptions between the PT and OT (even though Kenobi's reaction to Artoo completely blows any attempt to make it work)  but for me it made very uncomfortable viewing. Horrible, in fact. It's best not to think too hard about any of it, attitudes to droids or the mind-wipe, because it's a giant mess. 

Yeah, I did like Poe's enlightened reaction to BB-8 in TFA, and Rey too clearly views him as an individual when she rescues him on Jakku (and later refuses to sell him) so let's hope things continue in that direction for the future of the series. Maybe there's a whole movement we haven't seen about droid rights.

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I'm cut-and-pasting this post of mine from the "Last non-ST movie" thread.   Thought it kind of belonged here as well:

 

Finally (only took a few years) saw the movie, "The Machine" (2013).

the-machine-4.jpg

***** SPOILERS *****

 

Very interesting British movie in the mold of "Ex Machina" (actually, "Machine" came first, in 2013), but with a bit of "La Femme Nikita" as well.   The story involves a top-secret UK effort to develop artificial intelligence elements to help wounded soldiers (fighting a cold war with China) who've suffered massive brain damage.   Scientist Vincent is using his military research into AI to both help his dying brain damaged daughter and develop AI for its own sake.   His new research partner Ava (who is brilliant in her own right) is brutally killed by a Chinese terrorist after she submits to imprinting her physical and physiological template for later use.  And use it Vincent does; he creates a fully functioning, sentient android that has the innocence of a child, but with hidden programming that makes her a deadly weapon, much to the delight of Vincent's d!ck of a boss, played by Denis Lawson (better known as "Wedge" to fellow Star Wars geeks like myself).   

Overall, the pacing of the story is quick (it's only about 90-odd min. or so), there are some interesting developments (nothing too surprising), a decent exploration of the Turing test (and its ramifications), and even something resembling a happy ending that would definitely redefine 'family.'   

"The Machine" shows some budgetary seams here and there (though the CGI is more than adequate) and at times it was perilously close to 'what is it like to love?'-type cliches, but manages to tell a good story nevertheless.    It's a nice little diversion and despite the MOD secret bunker setting and acts of violence, it's a smidgen less intense than "Ex Machina" and made for an enjoyable viewing.

 

Well worth a look to those who enjoyed "Ex Machina" or other movies about AI.  

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I'm cut-and-pasting this post of mine from the "Last non-ST movie" thread.   Thought it kind of belonged here as well:

 

Finally (only took a few years) saw the movie, "The Machine" (2013).

the-machine-4.jpg

***** SPOILERS *****

 

Very interesting British movie in the mold of "Ex Machina" (actually, "Machine" came first, in 2013), but with a bit of "La Femme Nikita" as well.   The story involves a top-secret UK effort to develop artificial intelligence elements to help wounded soldiers (fighting a cold war with China) who've suffered massive brain damage.   Scientist Vincent is using his military research into AI to both help his dying brain damaged daughter and develop AI for its own sake.   His new research partner Ava (who is brilliant in her own right) is brutally killed by a Chinese terrorist after she submits to imprinting her physical and physiological template for later use.  And use it Vincent does; he creates a fully functioning, sentient android that has the innocence of a child, but with hidden programming that makes her a deadly weapon, much to the delight of Vincent's d!ck of a boss, played by Denis Lawson (better known as "Wedge" to fellow Star Wars geeks like myself).   

Overall, the pacing of the story is quick (it's only about 90-odd min. or so), there are some interesting developments (nothing too surprising), a decent exploration of the Turing test (and its ramifications), and even something resembling a happy ending that would definitely redefine 'family.'   

"The Machine" shows some budgetary seams here and there (though the CGI is more than adequate) and at times it was perilously close to 'what is it like to love?'-type cliches, but manages to tell a good story nevertheless.    It's a nice little diversion and despite the MOD secret bunker setting and acts of violence, it's a smidgen less intense than "Ex Machina" and made for an enjoyable viewing.

 

Well worth a look to those who enjoyed "Ex Machina" or other movies about AI.  

I recall wanting to see this, but totally forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder, Sehlat. 

Is it on Netflix or similar, or did you find it on DVD? 

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I'm cut-and-pasting this post of mine from the "Last non-ST movie" thread.   Thought it kind of belonged here as well:

 

Finally (only took a few years) saw the movie, "The Machine" (2013).

the-machine-4.jpg

***** SPOILERS *****

 

Very interesting British movie in the mold of "Ex Machina" (actually, "Machine" came first, in 2013), but with a bit of "La Femme Nikita" as well.   The story involves a top-secret UK effort to develop artificial intelligence elements to help wounded soldiers (fighting a cold war with China) who've suffered massive brain damage.   Scientist Vincent is using his military research into AI to both help his dying brain damaged daughter and develop AI for its own sake.   His new research partner Ava (who is brilliant in her own right) is brutally killed by a Chinese terrorist after she submits to imprinting her physical and physiological template for later use.  And use it Vincent does; he creates a fully functioning, sentient android that has the innocence of a child, but with hidden programming that makes her a deadly weapon, much to the delight of Vincent's d!ck of a boss, played by Denis Lawson (better known as "Wedge" to fellow Star Wars geeks like myself).   

Overall, the pacing of the story is quick (it's only about 90-odd min. or so), there are some interesting developments (nothing too surprising), a decent exploration of the Turing test (and its ramifications), and even something resembling a happy ending that would definitely redefine 'family.'   

"The Machine" shows some budgetary seams here and there (though the CGI is more than adequate) and at times it was perilously close to 'what is it like to love?'-type cliches, but manages to tell a good story nevertheless.    It's a nice little diversion and despite the MOD secret bunker setting and acts of violence, it's a smidgen less intense than "Ex Machina" and made for an enjoyable viewing.

 

Well worth a look to those who enjoyed "Ex Machina" or other movies about AI.  

I recall wanting to see this, but totally forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder, Sehlat. 

Is it on Netflix or similar, or did you find it on DVD? 

I forgot it too until it came up on a recommendation.  

I rented it via DVD.com (a division of Netflix); it's basically the Netflix DVD rental service that got split from the main company into a smaller division.

"The Machine" was very interesting.  "Ex Machina" may have been a teensy bit more intense, but "The Machine" was a solid little movie, and it covers much of the same territory.

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