Category Archives: Film

Life is Unfair – I Hate to Say It, but Luck is a sure thing

Life is unfair. It totally is. And there is not much we can do about it, which is kind of a depressing fact. 298 people just died. For nothing. Literally shot out of the air for no particular reason. At least not a reason they had anything to do with. People are dying of cancer and a whole lot of other shit of stupidities. Some because they chose an unhealthy life style, but most of them simply because they just happen to be a side-effect of evolution, as John Green once put it. So plainly put, there are the lucky ones and the unlucky ones. I guess you often don’t really know which category you belong to until it’s too late to be aware of. As for now, I can count myself among the lucky ones. That is not to say that everything I have and did in my life is determined by luck, as it may appear to some – I sure as hell worked very hard to get and achieve certain things which make me who I am today. Nevertheless, I am healthy, I have a great family that supports me both in what I do and financially, I was born in a great country, I guess I’m sort of, although probably not the most beautiful around, lucky with my looks. I was not on that plane three days ago.

Though I do think about this stuff every once in a while, the plane tragedy and a book I just read made me utterly aware of this fact of life again. Almost making me feel ashamed with my lucky position in life (so far, I guess I have to add to not invite fate to turn against me). Life is unfair. It totally is. Therefore, I embrace it as much as I can, and will continue to do so. I will make as much out of it as I can, both for myself and the people around me. We owe that to all those unlucky ones, who didn’t get the chance to do so.

 

Continue reading Life is Unfair – I Hate to Say It, but Luck is a sure thing

Artificial Intelligence: Exciting or Frightening?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) — a fascinating topic, which I keep having trouble with wrapping my head around, perhaps because I simply don’t know enough about it.

I just watched Her from Spike Jonze, a beautiful and fascinating film that I would totally recommend watching, and it made me think again about the insane speed of technological development and the question whether we will ever create something that is smarter than us and will eventually overpower ourselves? And in turn, whether that would be a bad thing, or whether we should just consider that as some new development in Darwin’s evolutionary theory?

The biggest issue in this whole debate is the idea of machines or operating systems developing a conscience and way of independent reasoning — together with their ability to learn by experience, could this be potentially problematic to the world as we know it now: where we control merely everything that’s artificial?

People have been exploring this possible potential path in technological development for years, especially in science-fiction. Think, for example, about supercomputer Hall from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssee. In his article Is Google Making us Stupid (2008), Nicholas Carr parallels his own mind and what the internet does to us to the character of Hall. Carr describes his “uncomfortable sense that someone, or something, has been tinkering with my brain.” He compares his feeling with the famous scene with supercomputer HAL,  where astronaut Dave Bowman is disconnecting the memory circuits that control HAL’s artificial brain. Carr states, “My mind isn’t going – so far as I can tell – but it’s changing. I’m not thinking the way I used to think.”

I’m sorry, I’m wandering off topic to an entirely different trend that’s going on, which is also very interesting but we’ll save that for another time (I can suggest some readings on that one if you are interested).

Let’s get back to the relevance of 2001: A Space Odyssee for the future of AI. I guess the biggest question right now is, once we are at the point where operating systems can develop independently, will we still be able to pull the plug, like Bowman does with HAL, if needed or desired?

Please note I’m not arguing against AI or to stop technological development altogether, at all — it allows us to do a lot of amazing things in many different fields (more about AI in general in the video below). As I mentioned before, I’m just not quite sure yet what my stance on this issue is. I am sure that I find this a fascinating topic — the dazzling speed of technological advancements  is starting to blur the line between science-fiction and science-prediction.

Curious to see what you think about (the future of ) AI. Call out!