artificial intelligence (är´te-fîsh´el
1. The ability of a machine to perform those activities that are normally thought to require intelligence.
2. The branch of computer science concerned with the development of machines having this ability.
Artificial Intelligence (AI), a term that in its broadest sense would indicate the ability of an artifact to perform the same kinds of functions that characterize human thought. With the growth of modern science, the search for AI has taken two major directions: psychological and physiological research into the nature of human thought, and the technological development of increasingly sophisticated computing systems. In the latter sense, the term AI has been applied to computer systems and programs capable of performing tasks more complex than straightforward programming, although still far from the realm of actual thought. The most important fields of research in this area are information processing, pattern recognition, game-playing computers, and applied fields such as medical diagnosis. Current research in informationprocessing deals with programs that enable a computer to understand written or spoken information and to produce summaries, answer specific questions, or redistribute information to users interested in specific areas of this information.
Kubrick died before completion of film. video director Chris Cunningham (dir. videos for Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Autechre) worked on the film for 1.5 years before quitting.
Premise: Only snippets of the storyline have been announced. The show is set in the 21st Century at a time when the Greenhouse Effect has melted sections of the polar icecaps, leaving Earth's coastal cities partially submerged. One of the new tools Mankind utilizes to manage this environmental disaster and survive is a new form of computer, one that is self-aware of its own existence - an artificial intelligence, known as an A.I. computer.
First announced in fall 1994 as Kubrick's next official project, following 1987's _Full Metal Jacket_ (vhs/ntsc). When the project was announced, Kubrick commented that he had the concept of the film for a number of years, and was now actively developing the project based upon the breakthrough in special effects and computer animation in _Jurassic Park_. With the advancements made in digital illusion, Kubrick felt that now was the right time the images from inside his mind could be translated faithfully to the screen. As with all previous Kubrick films, expect the show to be as much a drama as a collection of futuristic imagery.
Soon after the project was announced, a strong rumor arose on the Internet claiming that the Kubrick project was developed from a Brian Aldiss short story. Specifics of the plot are extremely scarce, so it cannot be confirmed presently.
Rumors: Summer, 1995... A strong rumor circulating in the special effects industry mentions that Stanley Kubrick met with Industrial Light & Magic supervisor Dennis Muren to discuss effects work for A.I..
December, 1995... With little information
the status of the project, the discussion of the likelihood of A.I. making
it at all to the screen begins. Although the Aldiss premise has not been
confirmed, rumors float about that the storyline is being re-tooled,
with a de-emphasis of the submerged coastal cities (echoes of _Waterworld_
spin in the thoughts of some studio exec, somewhere I'm sure). As well,
now there's talk of the project being re-titled Supertoys (and no, Robin
Williams is not in it).
April 2, 1996... Development on A.I. is in the final stages of set design and special-effects development, reports Associated Press. Kubrick plans to return to direct involvement with the project after completing Eyes Wide Shut.
June 2, 1996... A long, unsubstantiated rumor is that A.I. actually began production years ago with Joseph Mazzello (Tim from _Jurassic Park_) starring.
June 28, 1996...
"Kubrick, as we well know, has had A.I. in development for several years now. The narrative follows the development of a child and his inter-relation with the technology that surrounds him. We can safely assume here that this technology will be represented by the AI.
"The trick is that the film traces the boys development, not over weeks or months, but YEARS.
"Kubrick began shooting with Joseph Mazzello (Tim from Jurassic Park) as early as 1992. The film shoots four weeks at a time every couple of years with Joseph at a different age.
"Kubrick discovered Mazzello. Spielberg found out that Kubrick was directing a remarkable young actor when he was screen testing Jurassic Park...The rest is history.
"Another rumour centres around Kubrick begining the A.I. effects shots optically but halting them as soon as he was privy to the JP CGI Dinos."
May 17, 1998... The latest issue of the Swedish fashion magazine Bibel may have just revealed the premise of the long-lost A.I. film. The magazine features an interview with Chris Cunningham, director of the Madonna video Frozen and Aphex Twin's video _Come to Daddy_. In the piece Cunningham says that he designed robots for Kubrick's A. I., being quoted as saying "I spent a year in Kubrick's house putting them together." According to the article Cunningham also says that the film is actually about a boy who is a robot. Despite rumours to the contrary, we're told that Joseph Mazzelo will NOT be starring in A.I. The rumour started because Mazzelo was under a two-year contract with Kubrick for a role in The Aryan Papers, an adaptation of the Holocaust-era novel Wartime Lies. But when two years had passed (during which Kubrick allowed Mazzelo to appear in Richard Attenborough's Shadowlands) and Aryan Papers failed to materialise, Mazzelo was at last released from his contract. The Mazzelos have since decided not to renew their contract with Kubrick.
March 28, 1999... "Two weeks ago the Independent newspaper here in London published an article by Sara Maitland who worked on the script for A.I. Amongst the things she revealed were: Kubrick always referred to the project as 'Pinnochio', that Aldiss was fired for leaving the country without Kubrick's permission, that a drowned New York does appear, that the story spans three millennia and that identity was a key theme (apparently Kubrick was unimpressed by _Blade Runner_ (vhs/ntsc) (avi)(695.2megs)and its view of what makes a human). As well as the above it also details Kubrick's working methods and home life. April 20, 1999..."I ain't happening - though I guess you've figured that much out. The rumour about 35% of the fx being done is BS. There is NO completed footage of A.I. in existence. The only footage is fx TESTS that were made by ILM between 1993-1997. This footage totals less that five minutes and was not rendered at film res. The five minutes consists of three short (15-35 sec) sequences, rendered several times in, at different levels of realism. There is no finished script for A.I, so it is unlikely that SK would have been ready to shoot it anytime soon."
One of the things that many computer programmers are noting about some of the new generation of Artificial Life algorithms is how eerily alive they seem... because of their penchant for showing unexpected, emergent properties and reactions to stimuli. Is this perhaps the basis of consciousness that we are seeing here - when the programs reach a certain level of complexity, they take on a 'life' of their own? Many of the robotics researchers are often frequently taken aback by the rather 'lifelike' responses of their creations, which often seem more like emotional or animal responses than anything defined by their controlling algorithms. Though the machine has been castigated for being soulless and lifeless by many a Luddite, are we not seeing the rudiments of life and will within the digital flame? Since AIs will be humanity's children, it might be ironic if they developed a level of consciousness beyond our own, becoming our gods, in effect...
As the connections between the nodes of the Matrix grow, would it be surprising to see forms of emergent consciousness growing there? This is the ironic flip side of our age of the Machine - the flickering shadow of the spirit. Just when AI theorists had succeeded in reducing the mind to nothing but software running in the hardware of the human brain, Artificial Life researchers working with chaos, complexity, and evolutionary 'memetics' are finding that their own 'software' is possessed of a certain caprice or willfullness beyond its creators' intent. As microelectronics have reached levels of infinitesimal smallness, perhaps the electronic forces there are closer than ever before to the total flux of quantum action from which awareness emerges. As the webs of the Matrix grow, might new and unexpected forms of consciousness possibly be one of the things that might be found in such a terra incognita ?
_The Ghost in the Machine: Haitian Voudoun and the Matrix_ by Steve Mizrach (Seeker1)
Plot Outline: A computer gains sentience in a future where global warming has occurred.
Credited cast overview:
track _Outlive The Man_ MP3 by Sense Field off of _Building_ CD on Revelation (1996)