Possible, Probable and Preferable, a cyborg/futurist love story….

Hey guys, welcome back to the new, improved, and more critical live-tweeting process that took part in the second half of the semester in BCM325.

My key takeaway from this activity was we really don’t know what the future will look like. Predictions are just educated guesses, and who would’ve thought we would have ended up here, right now. Using the lecture content, I was able to deep-dive into artificial intelligence, the predictions made by futurists, decision making, and cyborgs and cyberspace as an active part in cyberculture. It furthered my understanding of the potential, probable and preferable future and I really think that is the big idea. 

To further explain, It’s not uncommon for individuals, and society to predict aspects of the future and plan accordingly. If anything, this subject has exposed the truths, the possibilities and the absolute worst case scenarios, all whilst emphasising human behaviour and how we react when facing the unknown.

Whilst this live-tweeting task was entertaining, I began to notice that the future is represented as an open-ended interpretation of possibility. This version of reality often follows conventional cinematic themes in dark and gloomy settings. 

As Queenan discusses, constructing the future to look grim, is an important convention in films as it warns modern audiences about the choices we make and how that decision impacts our future (2015). This explains the dystopian nature of sci-fi, as a warning to change destructive behaviours that have become so mundane and engraved into daily life (e.g. contributing to climate change by buying the new iphone every year, or excessively contributing to fast fashion).

But the future’s not all bad. So let’s jump right in.

Robot and Frank

So this week’s live-tweeting session focused on AI in a more positive setting. The film takes place in the ‘near future’, and sets a new precedent into a world that is not so distant from our own. 

Considering all the media we had consumed over the course of the semester, I really didn’t trust that this movie was going to be all flowers and roses. I really did expect the robot to murder Frank and take over the world.

So, I was pleasantly surprised when this was not the case. For me, this movie gave a new meaning to AI and robotics and how this technology could be used as the perfect companion to our elderly population- or anyone really. 

It presented a new take on Ai, giving audiences a future to look forward to. Expressing that when Ai is used to its full potential, we are able to maximise efficiency, increase seamless workflow 24/7, and analyse data effectively for more informed decision making (Callahan, 2020). The benefits of Ai are essentially limitless, depending on the decisions that humans make towards utilising the technology to its full capacity. However, the mixed views on easily adopting this technology explored the fear of the unknown, playing into our own understandings of the future. This idea was mirrored in the Week 6 lecture, where a comparison could be made on automated machines in the industrial revolution to artificial intelligence within the digital revolution. 

Moving onto Arrival…

Arrival had an emotionally traumatising beginning…

In fantastic craftsmanship by the directors and actors, Arrival presented a non-linear glimpse into a life that featured extra-terrestrial beings… once again, using aliens as a vehicle of the unknown. Most recently, we have faced this uncertainty in the COVID19 pandemic, which I immediately drew connections with.

I also thought it worthy to discuss globalisation, and the instantaneous communication that we rely on in the 21st century. Without globalisation, we wouldn’t even really know what was happening more than 10km away unless it was extremely visible. What we couldn’t see, wouldn’t bother us. This alien arrival may not have been so impactful, if we didn’t know that it was happening anywhere else in the world…

https://twitter.com/zelia_zv/status/1527110218026389504 https://twitter.com/zelia_zv/status/1527160905569804290

The study of futurists that we explored in Week 8, shows the anticipation involved in decision making, implying that decisions aren’t informed by free will. It’s full circle effect, and each decision paves the way to a different future. Which I emphasised with the quote

Alita Battle Angel

Surprisingly, my live-tweeting on Alita Battle Angel was the destination of a lot of unexpected interactions.  My tweets were liked by people of the fandom… which I found incredibly interesting considering this was one of the more boring movies.

Again, this was a dystopian setting, featuring two opposite worlds. However, like a third world country, the people and robots were bright and optimistic in the only world they knew.

Week 9, delved into Cyborgs, specifically drawing on the relationship between our bodies and technology.   This was a surprising theme for me, because when I researched cyborgs, I was reminded that cyborgs are an everyday occurrence. Cyborgs, by definition, are people whose quality of life is improved with the use of technology. These are normal people, individuals who are deaf, or have artificial limbs. However the word cyborg has negative connotations from years of science fiction portraying evil robots taking over the world and killing all of humanity.  This idea is emphasised by roboticist Masahiro Mori, who proposed that humanoid robots make us uncomfortable because they trip “the same psychological alarms associated with a dead or unhealthy human.” 

In this particular task, I found it hard to watch the movie, but my key takeaway was that robotics and humans are much more interlinked than what is usually expected. 

Ready Player One 

Lastly, Week 10 brought it all together as we live-tweeted our experiences whilst watching Ready Player One.

What I was most impressed about, was the disturbing way 2045 was portrayed. It shocked me that one day, our beloved planet earth could look so cluttered and destroyed and especially, so soon. 

The concept of being interconnected via virtual reality and cyberspace is a valuable insight into the world that we exist in already. 

Since the earliest use of the internet in the home, I remember Habbo Hotel. A virtual reality for kids… essentially you could interact with one other, chat and hangout. The oasis was just a bigger and more complex version of that. I realised that when we have social media, we live inside a cyberspace, where we present a form of self, the exact way we would like to be perceived. We choose how others will see us, and sometimes we don’t actually know who we are engaging with. I really enjoyed this movie, and thought it was a great way to wrap up the semester.

Listen below, for a quick conclusion to this live-tweeting activity. 

Also, here is a quick audio snapshot of my favourite tweets in the session.

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