Diana T – Back from the dead using artificial intelligence

There is a new start-up by the name of Humai that claims it will try to develop technology to resurrect the dead with artificial intelligence, similarly to the movie Transcendence. Many are questioning whether this is a real company, but Josh Bocanegra, founder and CEO of Humai confirms that using artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and cloning, his goal to resurrect the first human by 2045 is genuine. The company’s mission is to reinvent the afterlife: “to bring you back to life after you die.”

Since technology to accomplish this does not yet exist, their plan is to collect data they need before someone dies through various apps, freezing the person’s brain using cryogenics and once the technology is fully developed, they will implant it into an artificial body that will be controlled by thoughts. Google’s director of engineering, Ray Kurzweil has previously said that in just over 30 years, humans will be able to upload their entire minds to computers and become digitally immortal – an event called singularity, so is this company’s goal that far of a stretch? We have already seen insane developments in technology, which we never thought possible in the past. Do you think Josh Bocanegra’s concept is indeed a potential future for our society? Is this attempt at creating immortality an example of technology going too far? If this technology becomes available, would you want to continue living on after death in an artificial body?



Tyler M – Reactions to FIFA

During today’s class, I couldn’t help but think about stuff I would see on twitter before the release of FIFA 16. You’d never see the reverse of these images, would you? The whole gamergate issue never really struck me until I saw some of the reaction to a woman being featured on the cover of FIFA 16.

Kristen R.C. – 10 fun facts about AIs

The video below looks at 10 amazing and somewhat terrifying facts about AIs. I found all the facts interesting and some more surprising than others. The one of the more terrifying facts is the ability that an AI could rebuild itself using an algorithm, even after losing two of its legs. Having the ability to repair itself shows a limitless quality. The ability for self-repair will have many successful and useful implications, including search and rescue and space exploration. However, it can be considered to be a stepping stone to the number 1 fact – The AI Apocalypse. It is scary to think that AIs can rebuild itself, because if they can rebuild itself then what is the need for humans?

What did you think was the most interesting or terrifying facts?

Ethan G – Transcendence


This is another movie that addresses the topic of Artificial Intelligence. In this movie, Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is a researcher in the area of AIs and is attempting at creating a machine that is able to acquire the knowledge of everything, while at the same time is able to establish human emotions. Will Caster, along with many technology research centers, are quickly attacked by a group of anti-tech group members. Will is told that he will soon die, ultimately encouraging him to transmit his own personality into the all knowing AI machine he was attacked for.  I won’t ruin the end of the movie, however one can assume that problems of course occur when one mixes an AI machine with a human brain.


The most interesting aspect I found in this film is the presence of the anti-technology group. The group resembles a modern day terrorist organizations, however establishing attacks based on their resistance to technological advancements. This movie made me think: if technology continues to develop in the way that it is, would it be possible that anti-technology terrorist organizations could be established within our society?  Based on the fact that society is experiencing great advancements in technology, making Artificial Intelligence more of a realistic possibility, then ever before, do you think that groups will begin to form to turn society away from these development?

Virtual Reality is the ultimate empathy machine – Christina Y

Virtual reality was spoken about in class a couple weeks back. We talked about examples of the Oculus Rift used for the porn industry and online gaming. Allowing individuals to break all barriers and become immersed in the game and transform the feelings of intimate relations through the devices. This clip is a TedTalk by Chris Milk I found when searching up virtual reality artists for another class but its made me think about the positives that can come from virtual reality for global change, divide and learning. Chris Milk is a digital immersive artist and film maker who created a machine that takes real time panorama video’s world wide. His first film that has turned heads globally is Clouds of Sydra, a film about a 12 year old girl living in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan with her family. Chris doesn’t want the world to be seen through a frame where individuals see the world through a window, he wants us through the window and onto the other side with the ability to feel present with the people inside it. When Sydra sits down, you are sitting down beside her on the dirt. You feel her humanity in a different way and you emphasize with her in a different way.

Chris Milk teamed up with the United Nations to create this film and wants to use it to show groups of people with the ability to elicit change which he did in a board room in Switzerland, everyone was affected by it. He believes that we have only scratched the service of the true reality of virtual reality and what it can accomplish.

He concludes that virtual reality machinery should be used for more than just porn and gaming as it can change our perceptions of each other, change the world and ultimately allows us to become more human. It can build the gap of humanity, especially in times like today. 










Tyler M – Personification of Robots

In last week’s Turkle reading, she discussed how robots may be digital beings because we act out both halves of complex relationships. The clip I have attached to this post is from the 2001 film A.I. Artificial Intelligence where the character Gigolo Joe, played by Jude Law, is essentially a prostitution robot. In the world depicted in A.I, it is not uncommon for people to seek robots as sexual companions and even bond with them emotionally. The film presents us with the theory that robots are capable of emotional responses regardless of the human component. I’d argue that what makes us able to bond with robots is their design – giving them human or near human features whether it be a face, voice or body shape similar to a human. There is no doubt that machines created for sex already exist, but it isn’t common to hear or someone forming an emotional bond with their sex toys.

Kids Play With Tamagotchis – Kelsey Jenkins

Buzzfeed posted a video in which kids today play with Tamagotchis and the results are pretty funny. Evidently, children today are not used to dealing with such simplistic technology. They exclaim things such as, “It makes no sense!” and “It only has 3 buttons!”. It is interesting that when I was a kid, we were all addicted to our Tamagotchis and felt strong intimate connections to them, as Turkle and Pettman point out, even with how simplistic they were, whereas kids now do not see any appeal in the toy.



Relationships with a Computer Program aren’t that far away in our future -Maryann N.

This article talks about how the main idea in the movie, Her, is one that we should become more familiar with because this kind of innovation is something that has already started to form a trend. This article makes a point about how our technology isn’t that sophisticated yet to form such complex and intimate relationships as the one seen between Theodore and Samantha; but their relationship can be seen as a metaphor to the way people are emotionally attached to their gadgets today.

Last year, a government survey conducted in Japan revealed that more than one-third of the country’s young men have no interest in sexual relationships, a finding researchers linked to Japan’s plummeting birth rate. 

Many people today are not interested in forming relationships with other people because they find them to be too complicated and often heart breaking. Robert Weiss, a professor and founder of the The Sexual Recovery Institute states that there is nothing wrong with people being emotionally attached to their gadgets and that the term relationship means different things to different generations. Children are not connected to the physical object, but the relationships that they form with them. The film, Her, is attempting to highlight our current relationships with our gadgets and how emotionally attached we have already become to something that does not even have the potential to speak back or reciprocate any kind of emotion back to us.

If you think about it, we are all involved in passive relationships with our gadgets.

Check out the article for more information: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/love-computers-not-far-fetched-expert-article-1.1595773


Jessica Micieli– Can we live like robots?


This article is about a man named Ray Kurzweil who believes in the triumph of artificial intelligence and computers taking over human life. Funny enough,  he is on the quest to stay alive until this happens and takes 150 pills a day along with many other vitamins in hopes to extend his life as long as possible. He believes that by 2029 computers will be able to do everything humans can do but better. The future for Kurzweil also remains in the hands of a notion he calls “singularity” which is when men and machines converge. As we discussed in lecture, the human race is already underway of being part nature and part machine in the sense that we do things to our bodies that are technological. The scary thought here is how far technology will advance and if Kurzweils predictions will actually come true or not, what are the possible implications?

Hannah S- Online Dating in 2040

We can already see how the advent of technology has changed the dating world. From simple online profiles to more location based apps such as tinder, the online dating world is increasingly evolving. In an article from the Telegraph UK , researchers are exploring the possibilities. According to a new report, full sensory virtual reality and behaviour-based matching will be among the key features of dating in the year 2040. These developments will save singles time and energy, deliver more accurate matches, and even provide insight and real-time assistance.

The findings reveal a “super-charged” continuation of today’s online dating trends. People will always want to be matched and ultimately form relationships with like-minded people in the most efficient way possible. What is different is how they will go about it.

  1. Dating can be done in virtual reality that will be full-on sensory
  2. Introduce our actual DNA in a matching process
  3. behaviour-based matching devices could track your actions and find other singles that have a similar lifestyle pattern
  4. AI, where singles would be able to receive information on their surroundings and actions, such as how well topics of conversation are being received, and an appropriate course of action.

It seems that the future of dating seems to either make us lazier where we actually don’t even need to leave our couch, has reliance on scientific analysis, or even ruining the “element of surprise” where our actions will be interpreted to use the best course of action. Although technology has been able to make dating easier for some people, are all these new advancements as the researchers predict really necessary?