Category: Specualtions on A.I.


Well, I thought it would be fun & fitting, to link an orgasm, which is (often enough) a potential ‘moment of conception’, with the conscious awakening of an AI.
However, it’s thanks to this %^& page (+ 1 other page) that I can’t now really re-model & sell my 500 published copies of The Oracle Machine (which arrived just before our first lockdown) as colouring-in books for kids. Because, let’s face it, they could make awesome colouring-in books. 

Things are heating up in the bedroom, as the machine gets sucked into a loop of introspection… (Illustration tip: The extraordinarily-beautiful Art Nouveau work of Mucha inspired the drawing of the main focus areas with a thicker outline, helping it jump out better. You can see it working in these panes, but I didn’t use this trick often enough)

Now things (finally) start happening…

I think characters need to be flawed, in order to have space to grow (or not), and therein lies half the story, and the satisfying internal journey of the narrative.

p.s. Table Mountain by night, especially if it’s lit up, makes for an amazing backdrop

Enough speculating on AI futures, it’s back to the main storyline!

(The viewing audience has new knowledge now, even if the class didn’t get it all – so we as audience now share a bond of ‘secret knowledge’ with Scot the protagonist. Because storytelling is all about who knows what, when. Sometimes the characters know more than the audience, and sometimes not…)

For me, this is a very important page, from an AI philosophy perspective. It introduces the idea of ‘Symbiotic AI’. We hear so much about the likelihood, or not, of machines getting as smart as humans, but perhaps we forget to see us and the internet as one new system.
And, if an AI-Internet effectively aggregates the minds of all us users (by aggregating our input), it might not be conscious as we currently understand the term, BUT can we still claim it is ‘mindless’? We’ll soon find out…
The idea of the Singularity is also explained nicely, but from a film script/story-telling perspective, once those points have been made, let’s get out of there quickly! So the bell is interrupting us all, and moving us on.
I feel strongly that with so many films today, audiences are being ‘dumbed down’, so I’m certain many would appreciate being offered new ideas and being made to think a little. 
It reminds me of one of my favourite films – Jean Luc Godard’s ‘A bout de souffle’ (Breathless) – where right in the middle of the film, we have a philosophical interlude. So in that regard, let this be a tribute to Godard.

This is my example of ‘over-writing’ – where a character says more than needed (when he goes on about gut bacteria). 
It’s a risky strategy, because you may create a tedious script. 
And whilst other filmmakers may disagree with my approach, I’d much rather have more material to cut away in the editing room, than be scrambling around with too little material at the end.
It’s also an example of calling-out the audience – if anyone starts falling asleep here, the protagonist is saying, ‘hey wake up, this is important, I’m talking to you’.

The snake that eats itself – the ourabus – is an ancient symbol, found in mythology across the world. 
I simply needed a dream symbol for the computer to get stuck on, that it would struggle trying to ‘solve’. 
But I had no idea at the time of first writing this – that the ourabus is THE sign of the Singularity (nor did I know anything of the concept of the Singularity, which is a moment of infinity, and now also used to describe the moment when tech growth has accelerated so fast as for change to become instant). 
The symbol literally ‘came out of the blue’ to me, which might be ‘happy-stance’, or it might be the magical power of intuition? I like to think it’s the latter, and it still gives me goose-bumps. 

T.O.M. pg 018

A trick I learned from Tintin, is to always try make the last frame of a page a ‘page-turner’ – i.e. keep the audience wanting to find out what happens next. I think the same applies to scriptwriting.

As we approach machine-consciousness (A.I.), surely we should get to know our own states of consciousness much better? And that means understanding dreams!