Thursday, February 24, 2011

Watson


I watched the artificial intelligence Watson compete at Jeopardy. It’s pretty fascinating how good it is, though it has a circuitry advantage in that its metal mind works faster than the human mind. It has an initial appearance of being close to passing the Turing test. If you watch it, though, it’s pretty clear that Watson doesn’t understand English.

Step 1: ??? Step 2: Conquer Earth (V)


The current season of V is more religious than the show has been in the past. Now it’s all about souls. Only humans have souls, but Visitors get souls with their human skins, and this is the secret to conquering humanity or the reason why the invasion will fail. Now, I can handle religious themes, but it has to make some kind of internal sense. They keep talking about souls, but they don’t offer a decent definition of what a soul is.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Problematic Pet Depiction

(reposted due to code error :/ )

A lot of children’s movies, such as Lady and the Tramp, feature anthropomorphized pets that are given human intelligence. These characters tend to be cute representations of the animals we love and have characteristics of these animals as we understand them. A common theme is that dogs and cats are supposed to be our pets. This is an idea in American culture but certainly not true everywhere, and yet these American films consistently depict pethood as a natural and desirable way of life for these animals. Okay, given that the films are American, I can buy that to an extent. The problem comes when you consider that these animals have human intelligence.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Recommendation: Let the Right One In

(Crossposted from "Critical Analysis of Twilight" at Fanpop)

For those who like the basic vampire romance dynamic in Twilight but don’t necessarily like its execution, I highly recommend the Swedish vampire film Let the Right One In. I just rented this a few days ago and fell in love with it. I think it’s one of my top films of all time. It has many elements that are similar to Twilight in terms of vampire romance, but it treats the subject much more seriously and is a bit truer to the vampire characteristics traditional to the last fifty years of movie-making.