BCM325: LIVING TWITTING SUMMARY(2)

 Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

The future is beautiful but empty and alienated.
There is no romantic love or art, just a dull, unreal personal life with work assignments and technology.

When countless virtual people, replicators and robots become the most loyal emotional companions for lonely humans, perhaps humans have forgotten what real love is like. Blade Runner 2049 shows a deep sense of compassion.

The Matrix (1999)

In The Matrix, the director tells a story in three episodes.
In the distant future, humans and robots fail to fight each other, and the robots take over the human race and turn every human body into a biological battery. In order for these biological batteries to work properly, the machine has designed a virtual world where the biological batteries can live a happy life. In these batteries, some people wake up, and the battle between man and machine begins.
The film, contains a lot of philosophical things, fatalism, causality, human nature, mechanical materialism, dialectical materialism.
Is the world we live in real or imaginary? Neo, who lived in a virtual world created by the Matrix, is awakened by a human rebellion. In this virtual world, people’s feelings are so real. It makes one wonder if we ourselves are living in a similar virtual world, in our own illusions. What is real and what is unreal?

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

阿丽塔:战斗天使- 维基百科,自由的百科全书

In the 26th century, the machine and the human body could be well combined. Ide made a mechanical body for his paralyzed daughter. The mechanical body was very carefully made, and the surface was beautifully carved, but the daughter was killed before she could use it.
Ide found Alita in the ruins left by Salem with only her brain, heart and gave her a mechanical body and a name.
Alita has amnesia. She can’t remember her past. And here in the city, she found herself again. She likes Hugo who is brave and has a dream, she likes chocolate, she likes Ide, she likes the mechanical ball.
Bravery and her own fighting mechanism make Alita never compromise in the face of evil, even if she is cut off by Gruyishka, she will not give up.
In the battle, Alita recovered her memory and mission.
What shines most in Alita is her courage, her courage to give her all for the people and things she loves, her courage to stand up to the end for justice and compassion.

Ready Player One (2018)

The story takes place in 2045, the real world is in a mess, and the capital forces that have mastered VR technology are dominant. People are addicted to the virtual reality game “oasis”.
The founder of the “oasis” announced before his death that he would leave his hundreds of millions of dollars to the person who found his hidden eggs, which attracted people from all over the world to rush into the “oasis” and launch a treasure hunt adventure.

The film reveals a vast dual world, in addition to the real world in the story, there are more different styles of the world in the virtual world.
It is worth noting that in these worlds, the director does not intend to show us the full picture of anyone space.
Even in the real world, the space we can see is limited.
In reality, the plot is almost confined indoors, and in a few slum streets.
In the virtual reality game “Oasis”, however, we see a variety of different styles of space.

We can see a mix of cyberpunk, steampunk and other sci-fi elements and styles in this film.

Robot and Frank (2012)

Artificial intelligence is an important frontier and hotspot of the new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial change. As one of the main achievements of artificial intelligence, the intelligent robot has been applied tentatively in many industries at present.

In the 2012 film Robot and Frank, the protagonist, Frank, is a “former thief” who begins to develop mild symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease as he ages. Worried and guilty, his son bought him a “family robot” to talk to him, help him with various chores and remind him to take his medicine on time. This is the kind of robot that scientists are close to building in the real world.

At first, Frank can’t accept living with this cold robot, but he gradually discovers that the robot is not only a practical housekeeper but also a great social partner. The film ends with a deep emotional connection between man and machine, with Frank even stepping in to protect the robot when they are in crisis.

These stories and the available psychological evidence clearly show that even if we know that robots are man-made and all programmed in advance, we can still develop an emotional connection with something that is very different from us.
But are such connections as good as human friendships?

Cyberculture

Cyberpunk, born in the second half of the 20th century, was by no means a shallow, fast-food culture.
The works of cyberpunk culture are full of profound discussions on the relationship between technology, humanity and capital.

This is the sad reality of capitalism spiralling out of control: the combination of money power and technology.
Science and technology have advanced to the point that many industrial products can be produced only by machines, but countless civilians have been abandoned as a result. It is unreasonable and arrogant to simply blame civilians for not learning and improving themselves.
Because, before the world has become like this, knowledge has already started to commercialize, and scientific research has become more and more capitalized. If you want to learn and acquire deeper and broader knowledge, you want to carry out deeper scientific research, and it is difficult to achieve without the support of a good family environment or capital.
Education and scientific research have become huge and expensive investment. For the people from the bottom of the family, the capitalization of knowledge and education and scientific research is a disaster that they cannot prevent.
The people, who monopolize knowledge, technology, capital and power, have shaped a whole commercial, social and cultural system to their own needs and control the world.

Self-reflection

Since ancient times, human beings have never stopped imagining the future. This curiosity drives the development of science and technology in human society, and at the same time, it also gives rise to the art schools of futurism.
From painting, sculpture to architectural furniture, futurism became a mainstream art concept in the 1950s and 1960s. It contains people’s curiosity and exploration spirit for the future, the universe and other unknown things.
In film art, especially in the development history of science fiction films, we can see our different fantasy and understanding of future technology in different eras.

As far back as 1927, Fritz Lang’s famous silent film Metropolis began to depict the future of human life, a landmark sci-fi work that presented us with the visual style of the machine society of the year 2000.
Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 space sci-fi film 2001: A Space Odyssey was a philosophical account of the impact of future technology and artificial intelligence on mankind.

“The present technological power and destructive capacity of man has far exceeded his intelligence.”
The warning comes from futurist Nikola Danaylov, author of the widely read “Conversations with the Future: 21 Visions for the 21st Century.”

Our technological prowess is growing by leaps and bounds, but the wisdom we need to master it is growing much more slowly.
The nuclear crisis, global warming, artificial intelligence, species extinction and environmental disasters are just a few examples of the excesses of technology over human intelligence.
In other words, as long as human technological power exceeds its ability to control, it will do more harm than good.

Fortunately, today more and more people are well educated and scientifically literate, especially with exponential growth in the field of cutting-edge science and technology.
As far as AI is concerned, human’s current “intelligence” and problem-solving ability are obviously not enough to truly control the development of AL.
As Danaylov said in the book, I hope that human beings can recognize their true power and not put themselves in danger due to blind pursuit of technological development.

Reference:

James, B(2020), Humanity’s power now ‘far surpasses’ its wisdom warns futurist writer, Express. [https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1283954/Science-news-human-technology-futurist-transhumanism-transhumanist]

Begley, V. (2004). Blade runner and the postmodern: A reconsideration. Literature/Film Quarterly, 32, 186–192.

Kellner, D., Leibowitz, F., & Ryan, M. (1984). Blade Runner: A diagnostic critique. Jump Cut, 29, 28–36.

Landon, B. (1992). The aesthetics of ambivalence: Rethinking science fiction film in the age of electronic (re)production. Westport: Greenwood Press.

McAuley, A. (2015). Savior of the working man: Promethean allusions in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927). In M. S. Cyrino & M. E. Safran (Eds.), Classical myth on-screen (pp. 78–100). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Sammon, P. M. (1996). Future noir: The making of Blade Runner. New York: Harper Prism.

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