Seattle International Film Festival | Documentary Plug and Pray explores the promise, problems and ethics of robotics

December 8, 2010

Source: Seattle International Film Festival — June 5, 2010

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Ray Kurzweil was interviewed in the recent documentary, Plug and Pray, exploring the promise and peril of advanced AI and the coming age of robotics.

Summary from the Seattle International Film Festival | The creation of artificial intelligence was a fantastical idea that captured the minds of scientists (and science fiction writers) from the very start of the computer age. But the breathtaking pace of technology has moved us ever closer to making it a reality.

What is the future of A.I., and where could it potentially lead us? Jens Schanze’s Plug & Pray is an engrossing journey into the preternatural, and sometimes grotesque, future of advanced computer life. We are invited into the laboratories and minds of technological experts from around the world as they make bold visions come true: the creation of machines that are equal to their human creators.

But then there is Joseph Weizenbaum, a pioneer of artificial intelligence and creator of the Eliza speech program. Playful and sardonic, he critically questions the scientific faith in technological supremacy and the notion of “plug and play.”

An enlightening foray into A.I.-land, Plug & Pray doesn’t only explore the world in which computer science, robotics, neuroscience, and psychology merge, but the philosophical questions that we must explore along the way. You plug it in and it all works, Weizenbaum notes. Or sometimes it doesn’t.

For the original review see: Plug and Pray at the Seattle International Film Festival

Also see:
Plug and Pray official website
About computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum