Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategoryArts & Culture

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Aliens Review, Part 1

I found Alien to be tolerable, but not worth the hype. So, who’s to say if the second movie will be any better?

Editor’s note: Parts one and two of this series have already been published here and here. The editor apologizes for the oversight and hopes you will enjoy this initial review and read the attending reviews as well. The first Alien film is considered a sci-fi classic, and Aliens, the sequel, is widely regarded as the best movie in the series. But personally, I found Alien to be tolerable, but not worth the hype. So, who’s to say if the second movie will be any better? It starts out with Ripley being found by a scavenger ship, where she is quickly taken back to earth and awakened from her cryosleep. Right away, we have a problem. One of “The Cooperation’s” big Read More ›

Man and his virtual personality. Background with selective focus and copy space

Who Has Time To Watch All That AI Can Create?

New technologies put deceased icons in direct competition with current actors and entertainers
Actors and entertainers might be needed much less — only to generate a new idea that can then be tweaked and replicated by ever-smaller studios. Read More ›
An artificial intelligence robot writer creating generative AI writing

Can AI Write Screenplays for Films You’d Want to See?

That issue was the heart of the Hollywood writers’ strike. How was it resolved? Or WAS it resolved?
AI can replace screenwriters only if you are content to see the same-old same-old every day forever. That’s true no matter who owns the technology. Read More ›
Black egg on a black background. The concept of coloring eggs for Easter. Standing alone egg

Alien Review, Part 2

Herding aliens in space is a bad idea

Read Part 1 of this review first if you missed it: Alien Review, Part 1 | Mind Matters In the previous review, we began discussing the sci-fi classic, Alien, and we left off with one of the Nostromo’s crewmembers, Kane, waking up after being attacked by a strange creature which had essentially glued itself to his face. Now, the creature is dead, and all seems well. Since Kane appears to be alright, and the crew begins eating another meal, preparing to renter cryosleep for their return journey to Earth. But as they are eating, Kane begins to scream in pain. The other’s try to help him, but they have no idea what’s going on. Finally, another alien explodes from Kane’s Read More ›

people in the art gallery center

Why AI Can’t Create Genuine Beauty

AI, though a helpful tool in certain contexts, cannot replace the intentionality and creativity of the human person.
If our experiences are all just brain chemicals responding to different gradations of light, it would seem nigh impossible to defend beauty. Read More ›
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Sports Illustrated Used AI-Generated Authors

Human authors for a human audience, please.
Maybe some people like to read articles written by Dave the algorithm who lives and writes from Fiji, but I am not among them. Read More ›
Fuse burning on black background isolated

What Mission Impossible Tells Us About AI Mythology

If you’re looking for an intelligent take on existential risk and superintelligent AI, the latest Mission Impossible movie is not for you.
If you’re looking for an intelligent take on existential risk and superintelligent AI, the latest Mission Impossible movie is not for you. Read More ›
Foggy coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forest in Northern California, in the early morning light.

Planet of the Apes and Human Exceptionalism

This movie franchise makes us wonder what makes human beings unique.

One semi-random movie franchise I’ve been a massive fan of is the newest iteration of The Planet of the Apes. The original trilogy, directed by Matt Reeves (The Batman) concluded in 2017, but a “fourth” film is set to release on Memorial Day of 2024, and a trailer for it dropped this week. I’m starting to become somewhat “anti-trailer” given that more often than not they tend to either distort the hype of the film or give away the story entirely. But in the cases of movies I’m most excited about, I confess that generally I give the trailer a quick view. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is set years after Caesar, the founder of the ape colony Read More ›

3d rendered medically accurate illustration of a grey alien

Alien Review, Part 1

Is the original movie as impressive as everyone says?

Alien is considered a sci-fi classic. It started a franchise that has lasted for many years, but while the first couple of movies are highly respected, the later films are thought to be underwhelming to say the least. But is the original as impressive as everyone says? The movie starts out with a large multi-storied ship moving through space. This spacecraft looks like an entire city, and as neat as it is to see, this raises a few questions right away. Why is the vessel so large, and how can only a seven people run this craft? We do get some answers. The ship is called the Nostromo. It is a mining ship, and a computer named Mother runs most Read More ›

Photo taken of a heartbeat on the monitor

Yes, the Film on Near-Death Experiences Is Another “Hated Hit”

As with Sound of Freedom, critics trashed After Death but audiences loved it. And the critics just aren’t keeping up with the science
When even science mags are not trashing near-death researchers, critics who just assume it’s all bunk should really just get out more. Read More ›
Pipe line oil and gas valves at gas plant pressure safety valve selective

“Ghost Work” and the Enduring Necessity of Human Labor

Contrary to popular assumptions, the greater the automation, the greater the need for human labor.
As automation increases, the need for human labor increases, and as a corollary, so does the need for humans in general. Read More ›
.The girl plays the guitar. Music lessons. Oil painting on canvas.

Creativity Takes Discipline. AI Offers an Easy, but Boring, Way Out

Because creativity requires work, AI systems will stunt human creativity over time.

Consider the following scenarios and compare: Leilani considered the images on the screen … choose five, copy them, and paste them from the AI generator to the AI evaluator. Two to choose from … creative juices flowing, Leilani chose one and started working on the type. Which typeface would represent the playful air the client was looking for? Back to the AI selector to describe each face. All of them were playful, but one was fun, too — that’s the right match! After a few more minutes of creative release, Leilani leaned back to consider the result. Paste a copy of the final to her local friend’s group and wait a minute … the first response was: “Wow! You’re as Read More ›

young robot looking at baby in a stroller against starry sky, digital art style, illustration painting

Megan Review, Part 3

If you’re looking for a mind-numbing popcorn flick to pass the time, Megan is worth watching. 

In the previous review, Megan began her killing spree, but Gemma quickly figured out there was a problem with the robot and took her back to her lab. Cady was distraught about the loss of her favorite toy, but Gemma still brought the girl to the lab and made Cady talk with a social worker. Afterward, she and Cady had a heartfelt discussion about the loss of the child’s parents. Gemma takes Cady home. Meanwhile, the assistants bring Megan down to the lab, but the robot escapes. Megan makes a B-line for Gemma’s house, but along the way, she encounters Gemma’s employer, David. She quickly kills the boss and his assistant before stealing a car. David was a rather unlikable Read More ›

The editor is editing the video at the computer

How Can Content Creators Avoid AI Theft?

The world of AI appears to be shaping up much like the world of social media.

Whither AI and copyright? Two significant battles working their way through the United States court system will define the relationship between human creators and AI systems. If you are a creator, you need to pay attention. First, can content created by AI be copyrighted? While it seems evident that content created by a user prompt should not be copyrightable by the user, what about the designer and operator of the AI system? It might seem reasonable to infer the humans who create a system that, in turn, creates new “works” should be able to copyright those works. In August of 2023, however, a United States District Court Judge ruled that AI-generated content cannot be copyrighted because “human authorship is a Read More ›

Woman reading a few books on the floor

Reading in the Digital Age

Writer Joseph Epstein argues compellingly on behalf of the novel.
Reading isn't instantly gratifying the way these dopamine-inducing technologies are, but the rewards are worth it. Read More ›
AI risk and artificial intelligence technology as a human and machine concept with advanced tech or robots taking over humanity and people merging with a cyborg as an existential risk

Megan Review, Part 2

Happy Halloween! A killer doll breaks protocol.

Last time, we talked about how Gemma gave Cady, her niece, a robotic doll, Megan, to help her raise the child after Cady’s parents were killed. At first, things go smoothly enough, but then Megan is attacked by a dog. The writers seem to have given us two potential theories about what’s happening. The first is that the robot is going through some sort of awakening right at the beginning. Megan has overridden the various safety protocols put in place to keep the robot from hurting people, and it’s only pretending to be protective of Cady. The second option is that during this dog attack, the fail safes malfunction, and this enables the robot to go on its murderous rampage. Read More ›

illustration of a technological eye, close up, future concept, generative ai

Megan Review, Part 1

An AI doll that does more than just play.

Since it’s nearing Halloween, I figured now would be a good time to review some Sci-Fi movies that dabble in the horror genre. Megan came out in 2022 and has been referred to as Chucky for Zoomers. The premise is the same as the horror movie, Child’s Play, from 1988: a child gets a doll. Doll turns psychotic and kills people. It’s pretty straightforward. However, Megan differs by adding a technological twist, calling back to the creepy Furbies, which came out in 1998. Really, those awful toys should’ve had a horror movie of their own. There are many a tale of the mechanical monsters waking up under the bed in the dead of night six months after the poor child Read More ›