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AI in the Cinema - Dystopia Now?

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Programme - Tuesday Feb 20, 2018

Artificial Intelligence (AI) increasingly affects us, often without knowing it. Cinema has been using AI to explore ideas of a bleak future since the early movies. Lately some high-profile people have been warning people about the dangers of uncontrolled AI. Are they right? See below for more background discussion.

This event will show some fun movies that have AI at their core, raising questions and making important points, but in an interesting and entertaining manner.

This full-day event (Tuesday Feb 20, 2018, 9:30 - 23:00) will consist of 7 movies (based partly on student nominations), plus 2 short talks. Any University person can attend. You can book a place through the Festival of Creative Learning event booking page.

Food: bring your own sack lunch & dinner.

The DRAFT Programme (all times are approximate)

                ARE WE ALL GOING TO DIE?

You can see as many movies as you like!


9:30-9:40Welcome - Bob Fisher
9:40-11:55The Matrix
11:55-12:00Talk: AI and Cinema - Does artificial insanity rule?
12:00-13:40Colossus: The Forbin Project
16:10-17:40The Machine
17:40-17:45Talk: Is your robot afraid of dying (and why you should care)?
20:45-22:15The Terminator
22:15-22:45Slack to cope with minor delays
22:45-23:00Closing, tidy up and departure

All times are approximate.


AI is everywhere now – in your phones, TVs, laptops. But when it comes to the movies, you mainly think of the Terminator movies. But there are many movies that explore a broad range of AI, from helpful artefacts, to neurotic intelligences. Some big names have also recently warned about the implications of true AI (although many more real dangers due to pervasive computation exist). By creating an AI protagonist, film directors are free to explore contemporary issues in a less emotional context: automation, megalomania, desire for immortality, racism, desire to be treated well, social welfare, mental health, etc.

This event day is intended to explore people’s fears about this potentially darker side to AI, as presented in the movies.

The event's goals are:

  1. Expose some of the implications of AI that go beyond simply being a killing machine.
  2. Get people to think about the broader context of where their work and study might go and whether the dystopian future that is presented is even likely.
  3. Have some fun with a set of interesting movies.