The sensational title “The Truth About Killer Robots” should lure a curious segment of the public to check out Maxim Pozdorovkin’s scary reflections on how far humanity has come in handing over the keys to its automated servants.
As the film points out, robot killings don’t just refer to freak industrial accidents and malfunctioning driverless cars; they grimly extend to the endless loss of people-jobs to automation, which is sending many members of human society into economic hell.
After its Toronto International Film Festival bow, this intriguing, carefully reasoned film should catch a wide audience on HBO in November.
Social and political topics have shone through most of the work of Russian-born, New York-based documentarian Pozdorovkin. “Our New President,” which hilariously recounted the rise of Donald Trump as told by the Russian propaganda machine, won a special jury award at the Sundance Film Festival this year, and his 2013 “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer” was widely appreciated.
“The Truth About Killer Robots” doesn’t have a specific Russian theme or the humor inherent in his films about Trump and Pussy Riot, but it addresses a topic of worldwide concern with the same lively curiosity.
In the spring of 2017, Olivia Davis, Assistant Curator for the Montefiore Medical Center Fine Art Program and Collection, approached renowned artist Tom Christopher to create the first virtual reality experience specifically for pediatric cancer patients in New York City.
The hospital wanted to create a painting that patients “walk through” from their hospital bed, something patients could relate to, something at once familiar (their neighborhood), surprising, and magical.
Davis immediately thought of Christopher, who is known for his expressionist take on urban life.
Founded in 1884, Montefiore Medical Center is a nationally ranked university research and teaching hospital affiliated with the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in the Bronx, New York. The hospital’s mission explicitly includes innovating new treatments while advancing the health of the community it serves.
“With the advent of new technologies and the influence on younger generations, we saw that we needed to unite art and technology in hopes of enhancing the healing process,” said Davis. “We quickly realized that the power of this technology was stronger than we anticipated, and Tom was able to create a unique, community-oriented work of art that is so much more meaningful than generic VR games on the market.”
“An immersive virtual reality experience can commandeer a patient’s brain so it no longer focuses on pain,” says Dr. Brennan Spiegel, a researcher, gastroenterologist, and professor of medicine at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. “It doesn’t work on everybody, but when it works, it really, really works,” he said.
“The Virtual Reality Fine Art Program at Montefiore seeks to diminish anxiety, pain and opioid addiction through stimulus-rich and curated artistic environments. These experiences will serve as ‘immersive analgesics’ allowing physicians to treat their patients more effectively by improving patient’s health and hospital experiences and reducing reliance on pain medication, especially opioids,” Davis said.
Dezeen recently released a short documentary making the case how drones could revolutionize the way people travel, transform how buildings are designed and built, and radically alter the form cities take.
“Elevation” explores the impact autonomous flying vehicles will have on our lives and discusses both the positive and negative implications of a future when drones are as “ubiquitous as pigeons.”
“What we’re seeing now that drones are in the hands of every person on the street, they’re potentially as disruptive as the internet,” says speculative architect Liam Young, one of the many leading drone experts interviewed for the documentary.
For years, Elon Musk has offered dire warnings about the potential dark future of artificial intelligence.
Now, Musk is turning up the volume of his message by sponsoring “Do You Trust This Computer?,” a new documentary that explores the implications of A.I. for humanity.
Musk participated in the film, and he paid to have it streamed online for free over the weekend.
“Directed by Chris Paine, the documentary engages with the many ways technology has become so pervasive in our daily lives.
As the trailer demonstrates, the vast majority of people don’t even think about how much information they’ve shared on their computers. It’s scary to think how that can be used against us for targeted ads, social media, and even identity theft.
If you’re reading this, you need to see “The Cleaners.” It’s an incisive new documentary that shines a light on the most uncomfortable questions about social media and the online age. You might want to look away. But, as the film shows, that’s a big part of the problem.
The “cleaners” of the title are the internet’s content moderators: the men and women employed to analyse your videos, photos and social media posts and decide if they’re offensive or acceptable.
In the past few years, the rise of fake news, social media bubbles, and increasingly polarised discourse around the world have led to hard questions for Facebook, Twitter and Google.
So you might assume these internet giants employ armies of highly trained experts to act as guardians of our delicate sensibilities.
An upcoming Science Channel docuseries will take a comprehensive look at Silicon Valley and how it became a fertile ground for technology breakthroughs.
“Silicon Valley: The Untold Story” delves into the century-and-a-half history of the region which is now home to Apple, Facebook, and Google.
The docuseries includes interviews with Y-Combinator founders Paul Graham and Jessica Livingston; Kyle Vogt, whose four-person self-driving car startup was bought by General Motors for $1 billion; and Intel co-founder Gordon Moore.
“Silicon Valley: The Untold Story” premieres Jan. 28 on the Science Channel.