Today I decided to see Transcendence, despite Wired actually canning it – Transcendence: A Movie Too Terrible to Even Hate-Watch. In my opinion, that’s being way too harsh. Of course the movie could of been better, but it could of been way, way worse.
I won’t give any spoilers, but it’s basically a movie where Depp ‘Transcends’ in to a computer, a-la Kurzweils singularity. This bit is quite cleverly done as there’s a conceptual twist that is so obvious yet rarely mentioned in singularity literature.
Things go pretty well, as they do when you have a brain the size of a planet, but of course we can’t leave it there. With people involved we know there will be twists, and there are. I thought the ending was quite brilliant and romantic, even if a bit Hollywood which is to be expected as it’s a big budget film. With a cast of Depp, Rebecca Hall, Freeman, Paul Bettant and great supporting cast there’s no problem with the acting. The special effects are great to illustrate what a giant Quantum computer and associated peripherals may look like.
If you’re in to computers, AI and the like I’d rate it 4/5 – it’s as least as good as the brilliant British movie “The Machine” which takes a different spin. If you’re not in to computers and AI then it may be a 3/5 – not wasted time, but you could wait until an online/DVD release.
PS If you’re in UK, you may want to go elsewhere than Cineworld as they didn’t turn off the lights during the movie and have terrible “customer service”
PPS To end on a positive note, this is my first (of I’m sure many) posts using the absolutely brilliant BlogPad Pro App on my iPad. It actually makes it possible to use your iPad for blogging and at £3 is a no-brainer
We’ll start with a legend, Ray Kurzweil talking at the most recent Demo Conference
I know there’s a lot of debate around Kurzweil and the whole Singularity Concept, but you have to give him credit for actually working towards this, as will be outlined in his upcoming book (which he mentions) How the Mind Works and How to Build One. I’ll certainly be buying a copy when it comes out!
Speaking of self-organising systems, I just watched a fantastic TED talk on The self-organizing computer course
Which touches on something I’ve always believed, which is that in order to really understand computing, people need some deep knowledge. I was lucky in that I have a double degree in Computer Science and Instrumental Science (which is basically a stripped down engineering course) and grew up in an era when you had to build your own computer! Ever heard of the Sinclair Mk 14, Mini-Scamp or EDUC-8? Amazingly, Simon Shocken gets students to build a whole computer in one semester!!! You can find out more at http://www.nand2tetris.org/
Another great TED video on The currency of the new economy is trust
that mentions AirBnB and a very interesting service called TaskRabbit. Also related is a great report Social Currency 2012 Report, that was highlighted by @JenniferSertl which shows that there is real momentum building behind companies doing real social media engagement. And no, having a Twitter and Facebook account isn’t sufficient!
Finally, if you’re in to Clojure, then you should probably check out the video by Arthur Edelstein about Clooj, a great little IDE written in Clojure
It’s amazing to think this guy does all this in his spare time! Personally, I’m not an “emacs guy”, just because I never got in to it, and therefore use Clooj. The second half has a great demo of a new feature that enables you to find and integrate shared code in to Clooj – think of them as micro-libraries.