The short film Sunspring was written by a set of algorithms, including the lyrics of the song. Humans performed and recorded it, and wrote the music of that song, and while the results are a bit strange it is an interesting beginning.
I already knew I wanted to see the new movie from Neill Blomkamp, Chappie, but with this trailer I am getting seriously psyched. It will hit the big screen on March 6th, and I will be in the theater for this one.
Her opened in very limited release back in December, this week it goes into wide release, after winning a number of awards. The Legend of Hercules also comes out this Friday, and it looks like they took some pains to keep it close to the original story line.
In somewhat more limited release is EVANGELION: 3.0 – You Can (Not) Redo; mostly it will only be playing for one day in each theater, but there are a bunch of US and Canadian theaters on the list. Two of the theaters are within driving distance for me, I can’t wait to see the latest chapter in the rebuild of the franchise on the big screen.
The most interesting film this week has to be Her, a story about a writer who installs a new artificially intelligent operating system designed to meet his every need, and discovers himself drawn into a relationship with it he never expected. Don’t expect explosions and chase scenes, Spike Jonez doesn’t usually do that kind of science fiction; this story is all about intelligence and the heart. We also get Walking with Dinosaurs 3D this time around, quality animation with a story about survival and triumph. This is from 20th Century Fox, with BBC Earth doing the UK airplay, and plays a lot like some of the better classic Disney stories. I think I will probably have to see them both, and I have to say it is nice to have a choice between two stories that have never been told before. It comes complete with a free Augmented Reality App that lets you take photos of your surroundings with dinosaurs in them and a lot more.
I love living in the world of the future. Dubbed Project Green Brain, the engineering teams at the Universities of Sheffield and Sussex are writing computer models of the brains of bees, specifically the systems in the brain that interpret a bee’s vision and sense of smell. They intend to link this to robotic sensors designed to perceive the same stimulus and install it into a flying robot. The purpose of the project is to advance understanding of simple non-human brain structures and artificial intelligence, but they already have a number of practical applications in mind, from search and rescue in dangerous environments such as mines or nuclear power plants, to finding the source of gas leaks, to actually pollinating crops in areas where hive collapse has eradicated real bees. As long as they don’t include stingers I think this will be a project worth following, particularly since this is the first Artificial Intelligence project I know of that is being designed to run on desktop PCs rather than supercomputers.