A scene from the climax of “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
Post by Nelson Cicchitto
Nowadays you can find AI in all sorts of movies. Whether you like action-adventure, sci-fi or even romantic comedies, artificial intelligences show up in these genres and play fascinating roles.
We’ve completed a study of the top AIs in film and came away with a new appreciation of how screenwrites are depicting this emerging technology. One of the most interesting things about AI is that their inherent nonhuman nature showcases what movie writers most believe to be true about humans.
Here’s our ranking of AIs’ appearances on the silver screen and what kind of statement the movie makes about our humanity. And below is our infographic rounding up the evil and good depictions of AI characters in the movies, from R2D2 and Data to Skynet.
HAL 9000 (2001: A Space Odyssey) – A deadly dose of humanity
Some individuals see HAL 9000 as one of the most quintessential evil AI. But what’s more interesting than its moral choices was HAL’s uncanny humanity. The humans in “2001: A Space Odyssey” act eerily calm and nonplussed. However, HAL 9000 exhibits humanlike traits such as jealousy and paranoia, which ultimately lead to the mission’s failure and astronauts’ deaths. [Read more…] about Infographic: The intriguing ways AIs show humanity in movies
If you’re an indie author, you may be deliberating whether to take the plunge into publishing an audiobook. The reasons to forge ahead are many. Audiobooks are the fastest growing segment in the publishing industry, showing a 37.1% increase in sales last year, while ebook sales have largely plateaued the past couple of years.
But there are drawbacks — chiefly, the amount of time, effort and sometimes money it takes to produce a solid recording.
The last time I checked, only about one in 10 indie authors bothers to go through the trouble of producing an audiobook to accompany a new book release. That’s bound to change. More than 67 million Americans now listen to audiobooks each year. Given current trends — particularly consumers’ lifestyle habits, with books consumed on the go and in bits and snatches — some experts predict audbook sales will overtake ebook sales in a few years.
Here’s a 4-minute sample from “Catch and Kill.” Go to the book’s page on Audible.
[Read more…] about 6 things indie authors should know about audiobooks
Don’t you just love audiobooks? There’s nothing like them to take the tedium out of commuting, long walks or exercising at the gym. So I’m jazzed to tell you about the new audio release of my five-star high-tech thriller, Catch and Kill, narrated by baritone-voiced Tom Taverna.
To celebrate, I’ve organized a giveaway of 50 audiobooks — 25 U.S. and 25 U.K. Audible copies.
To enter, just answer the question below, then enter your first name and email. That will subscribe you to my Best of Indie Readers’ Circle newsletter with twice-a-month updates about the best free and low-cost ebooks in the Kindle Store. Winners announced Sunday, July 21. [Read more…] about Audiobook giveaway: 50 chances to win a new thriller!
We’ve arrived at another moment of cultural assimilation — the point at which a new concept or technology becomes absorbed into the social fabric as something that’s new and interesting and soon to be taken for granted.
I remember when I started talking about social media after I co-founded the social media platform Ourmedia in 2005. Almost nobody had heard of the term “social media” back then. By 2007, social media had started gaining widespread uptake, and by 2008, you’d hear occasional references to the phrase on television newscasts and in prime time. Today it’s become a tired catch phrase on the cable news shows.
Mobile, smartphones, virtual reality — each term underwent its own quick adoption curve in recent years, joining the national lexicon and our common tongue.
New VR tech unveiled at Tribeca Immersive underscores social nature of storytelling
One of the downsides of virtual reality is how isolating it can be. To be sure, there are exceptions, such as multiplayer games and the ability to access remote experiences — say, a real-time tour inside an Egyptian pyramid. But for the most part, you slip on a VR headset and you’re encased inside your own virtual world.
Today New York University’s Future Reality Lab is debuting a new shared XR technology at Tribeca Immersive, part of the Tribeca Film Festival, with the release of a new VR short called “CAVE.” It’s a coming-of-age story told through a new system developed to emphasize the social nature of art, cinema and storytelling. [Read more…] about Can mixed reality be a shared experience?
For decades, fiction authors have built worlds for their books that, over time, become reality. H.G. Wells imagined inspired inventions from the laser to email. Jules Verne envisioned modern submarines, TV newscasts and lunar modules. Isaac Asimov predicted robotics and mobile computing. “Star Trek” conjured the holodeck and universal translators. I still get chills thinking of Ray Bradbury’s short story “The Veldt.”
As the tech advances, engineers and technologists begin to build what seemed like science fiction fantasy only a few years or decades before. Today, teams at Amazon AWS and elsewhere are working on a sort of universal translator. And what is a holodeck but an advanced form of virtual reality?
Not all such fantasies pan out — we still don’t have Wells’ time machine or invisible man — but a funny thing is happening as the future rushes toward us ever faster: The mind-bending changes that new technologies imprint on society are no longer centuries or decades away. They’re right around the corner.
That means near-future fiction is no longer the province of just sci-fi authors. Nora Roberts, writing as J.D. Robb, has a lengthy Eve Dallas series of police procedurals set in the 2050s. Daniel Suarez has given us “Change Agent” and “Daemon.” Andy Weir’s “The Martian” is more science thriller than sci-fi. Matthew Mather gives us “CyberStorm” and “Polar Vortex” without tipping into straight-out sci-fi — it’s the realism that makes it all so scary. Even Ernest Cline’s “Ready Player One” hews to a credible futuristic landscape circa 2045.
Over at Forbes.com, technology columnist Giovanni Rodriguez has a smart new piece titled, How A Great Techno-Thriller Might Help Us Reshape The Future. In it, he holds up my new high-tech thriller, Catch and Kill, as an example of this new breed of suspense novel that warns of the dark side of emerging technology. [Read more…] about How cutting-edge fiction shapes our future
Plus other takeaways from an AR meetup
During the winter I’ve been head down working on book two of the high-tech thriller trilogy I’m writing (stay tuned for an announcement in March), so I haven’t been venturing out as much. But last night I attended AWE Nite SF, the largest augmented reality meetup in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nearly 400 people (including smartie techie friends Shel Israel and Nicole Lazzaro) jammed the Microsoft Reactor offices in SoMa for free pizza, beer and three demos from top-tier AR startups.
I won’t blog the entire event (does anyone do that anymore in the age of Twitter and Instagram?), but there were some notable takeaways worth sharing. I’ll start with how to download your own pet dinosaur to your iPhone or Android phone. Start by having your phone read this QR code (these days you don’t need a QR reader, it’s embedded in your phone’s Camera). Moments later you’ll have a little purple dino hopping around on your desk, kitchen table, or wherever you’d like to position it. [Read more…] about Augmented reality for the Web (& download a pet dinosaur!)