terminator

Ex Machina – What is alive?

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Ex Machina – What is alive?

There are only a handful of films that I grant the title of “mind expanding,” even fewer that stand can stand the test of time. While Ex Machina certainly receives the title, I was more intrigued by the question it proposed. How do you go about testing artificial intelligence? More so, how do you determine what’s alive and what are the boundaries that holds something back from becoming human.

Now the term human doesn’t necessarily dictate the species or genome. So, more or less, what defines us as human? What characteristics would we deem as necessary to becoming such?

One of the joys of science fiction is its ability to challenge us in how we perceive a certain situation, and the whole robot uprising is a very classic genre. But what defines human nature and how do you test this?

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iPhone App Review: Terminator Salvation

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IMG_0016Now that I’ve finally managed to get to see the film it’s time to look at GameLoft’s Terminator Salvation iPhone game.

Terminator Salvation for iPhone captures the spirit of a desperate struggle against that machines pretty well for a hand held game. The textures are pretty good, some of the best I’ve seen on the iPhone and really give the sense of realism to the post-apocalytic scenes which are bolstered by decent cut scenes.

Hit the read link for more Read On

Terminator Salvation Movie Review

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terminator-salvation

I’ll admit something that will ruin my well-earned reputation as geek: I went into Terminator Salvation with not a clue about the first movies of this franchise. But hang on – don’t dismiss me too quickly.

The opening credits began playing; my girlfriend (Girlfriend? More geek-point deductions) and I were amused by the typeface. This was the first time we’ve seen a big-budget film use ascii characters. Every bracket, front-slash, underscore and asterisk earned a hearty giggle.

So from a complete noob’s perspective, the film was a fun watch – mostly because of the intense action and the gritty cinematography. I enjoyed the action sequences but not so much the plot. Was there a plot? Yes, there was. I think. It was nothing too complicated and but rather very predictable. The action sequences were very Bruckheimer-ish but with a certain “cool” factor I couldn’t put my finger on.

But during the whole film, a couple of little geeky things stood out.

  • The terminator motorcycles still use USB 2.0 Type-B?
  • Skynet was able to use cool touch screens but never thought to use USB 3.0 in the year 2018?
  • Being robots, did terminators not think to equip themselves with heat sensors?
  • My second laptop was a Sony VAIO. It did not survive two years of common usage. How could any VAIO survive Judgment Day? Nice product placement, though

Overall, the film was fun to watch. If you need a good summer flick with great action and a nonsense plot (but better than Wolverine), watch this. Also, both my girlfriend and I agreed that Blair was damn hot.

blair

Kinda funny, after Judgment Day, her hair and teeth looked good.

2009 Summer Movie Rankings

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2009 Summer Movie Rankings

I’m ranking this summer’s geek movies. I’m not a professional movie critic – I’m just saying how I reel’y feel.  If you don’t agree with this chart, let us know in the comments. Maybe you can change my mind.

movie_rankings

Current Rankings:

  1. Star Trek – Read review
  2. X-Men Origins: Wolverine – Read review

Movies yet to be reviewed:

  • Terminator Salvation
  • Pixar’s UP
  • G.I. Joe
  • Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

Skynet Moves Ever Closer to Reality

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Skynet Moves Ever Closer to Reality

jeopardy_logoWatson, IBM’s latest silicon creation has been tasked with taking on humans in a slightly different setting than it’s used to. Playing chess against grandmasters is all in a days work for the computer that would be human (or is that destroy them?) but IBM’s next goal is to go head to head against human contestants in an attempt to “..get Watson to think and interact in human terms,” IBM’s Dr David Ferrucci is quoted as saying.

“It will try to understand a user’s question and intent and understand it at a rudimentary level and provide and accurate and confident answer.”

Of course buzzing in with a wrong answer in Jeopardy is costly and so Watson must be absolutely sure before answering. This kind of open ended question answering is something that hasn’t been tackled successfully in the past. Playing chess means calculating millions of chess moves to find the best solution to a fixed problem. Answering questions on a game show like Jeopary requires a very different skill set, something computers are not naturally good at requiring broad general knowledge, quick prompt analysis of meaning, irony, riddles and other natural language subtleties that are at a pinch out of the remit of a computer. Matching words to words is something a computer excels at but matching meaning to meaning is still something that although we take it for granted in our own lives, computationally is exceptionally hard.

Hit the read link for more on what could become your computer overlords in the near future.

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