Her: The existential movie about post-singularity video games

Having finally seen Her, I'm surprised to find the distinct lack of chatter this film is generating among genre fans. This film takes an existential look at the (potential? inevitable?) singularity, and shows viewers the future of video gaming. Be warned, there be spoilers here (although not about the main plot). » 2/02/14 11:56am 2/02/14 11:56am

Unglamorous Space Catastrophes That You'll Never See in a Movie

We were all impressed with the dramatic trailer for Gravity, with George Clooney weathering an explosion on an orbiting space station and Sandra Bullock spinning off into the void of space. Things like that make good cinema. There are other space crises, though, that will never get their own movies. Here are some space … » 5/17/13 11:46am 5/17/13 11:46am

10 Bad Movies (That Could Have Been Good With Just One Change)

By Charlie Jane Anders and Katharine Trendacosta. Netflix is a crapshoot. Your local movie theater is a garbage scow. Most movies barely manage to be so bad they're good. But what's really annoying is when you can just see how a movie could have been decent. Here are 10 films that really could have been good, if you… » 3/21/13 10:21am 3/21/13 10:21am

Noam Chomsky explains why we still don't have artificial intelligence

Famed linguist and cognitive scientist Noam Chomsky has suddenly found himself embroiled in a debate about the ongoing quest to develop AI. It all started last year when he spoke at MIT's "Brains, Minds and Machines" symposium when he critiqued AI theorists for adopting an approach more akin to behaviorism. His talk was… » 11/05/12 2:30pm 11/05/12 2:30pm

So you think you're smart? Well, prove it.

Unfortunately, despite nearly a century and a half of testing and decades of neuroscience, you can't prove you're intelligent. Our inability to define one of humanity's basic traits has led to some pretty weird ideas about intelligence — and could ultimately undermine our quest for strong artificial intelligence, too. … » 10/16/12 3:38pm 10/16/12 3:38pm

Navy's newest robot is a mechanized, grenade-tossing firefighter

Add another eerily lifelike robot to the military's rapidly expanding android army. This one is, of all things, a mechanical firefighter. And not only can it climb ladders like its flesh-and-blood counterparts, it's designed to interact with human handlers in a kind of human/robot bucket brigade. » 3/09/12 6:30am 3/09/12 6:30am

Watch Project KARA, a seven-minute tearjerker about a sentient android

Video game studio Quantic Dreams — who you may remember helmed the PS3 crime thriller Heavy Rain — has now released a new short film starring the voice and digital likeness of actress Valorie Curry (Twilight, Veronica Mars). According to Quantic Dreams CEO David Cage, this heart-rending short uses technology more… » 3/08/12 8:20am 3/08/12 8:20am

A real-life swarm of flying robots, right out of a 1980s arcade game

The quadrotors of the University of Pennsylvania's GRASP Laboratory are all sorts of amazing (even when they're crashing). But this new footage of these futuristic bots hearkens back to something more retro — the pixelated shooters of arcades yore. » 2/01/12 6:45am 2/01/12 6:45am

Actual robot sportscaster could replace robot-like human sportscasters

If you've been convinced for years that John Madden has been replaced by an iPod filled with generic football commentary, you might be excited to learn that Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne has been working on an even more advanced version. This one is equipped with artificial intelligence so it… » 11/12/11 12:25pm 11/12/11 12:25pm

A conversation between Siri and a Furby is like listening to HAL 9000…

From the same school of AI versus AI rib-tickling that brought you existentially ornery Cleverbots: some rousing logorrhea between a new-school smart phone and an old-school creepy fad. Next up, a TomTom tending to a Tamagotchi. » 11/05/11 2:35pm 11/05/11 2:35pm