Tag Archive: futurology

TOM page 144/150

Conceiving the inconceivable… (My favourite page)

TOM pg 109

Raising the intrigue…

T.O.M. pg 064

Wasn’t so when I wrote it but… as of last month, #AI learning from videos is now a thing – see this article here. So AI can now presumably watch youtube videos too, and go beyond object recognition, & learn actions & consequences (much like a human child). I think this has huge implications.
The interview sequence is me in the comic – based on an interview I once did with a Himba queen in Namibia, who explained how she uses dreams to get advice from her deceased parents. Fascinating! (And common practice in Sub-Saharan Africa, and perhaps something we all do unconsciously too.)

T.O.M. pg 056

Intrigue! Nudity! Intrigue! (beauty is never gratuitous, is it?) 

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.

T.O.M. page 003

Decided it might be fun to start adding some direction notes too. 😉


What a year it’s been. And on the AI front, it’s getting hard to keep up. Remember all the hype when DeepMind’s AlphaGo won at Go? Their new system, MuZero, teaches itself to play any game! But reception to this was muted. The public can’t keep up? Meanwhile, this vertical-farming story got a lot of likes. As did this NYTimes story on deep-fakes.

For the TOM project, while I wait for responses to a few pitches for TOM-the-movie, I’ve started colouring the graphic novel – because this project is rolling on, investors or not – and I think the coloured images look stunning, and will take the project forward. Happy New year everyone. Bring on 2021!

Google Lens 039.jpg
TOM phones people - 016.jpg

I’ve been stepping up the pitching & some pathways to making this into a film are appearing. Meanwhile, I continue to be stunned by advances in tech, predicted in the novel, now coming to life.

I thought I was pushing my luck suggesting The Oracle Machine could interpret an image held before it. But this week I discovered Google Lens. It’s actually been around a year, but received a bump up with some new AI as of last month. 

What also made the Oracle Machine ‘unique’ is that it ‘phones people for info’. That too has come to pass, with this article showing Google’s BERT AI: “is calling businesses to auto update handy details like store hours & takeout options on Search & Maps. This year, Duplex made over 3 million updates to businesses”.

Crazy times. The new byline for The Oracle Machine is now: ‘The future is coming fast. We need to talk about it.”

I’ll soon shift to talking more about filmmaking – since T.O.M. is my illustrated film script, and I’m hoping that it, plus my 2017 movie here will give possible investors enough confidence to invest in this exciting indie African Sci-Fi film project.

But first, these articles got my attention: An article highlighting how new ‘smart-locks’ can be opened remotely online. And this Wired story describes how traffic lights can be hacked! Who knew?



Some more stories this week that show how fast things are moving now. This article about a new supercomputer also mentioned how OpenAI researchers showed that the amount of ‘compute’ used in A.I. between 2012 and 2018 doubled every 3.5 months, far exceeding Moore’s Law, which predicts a doubling every 18 months.

Meanwhile, this article suggests we’ll have bionic eyes within 5 years. The Oracle Machine only dared to predict digital lenses!

My graphic novel also talks about hackers being able to destroy computers remotely by ‘switching voltage on the processors’. Whilst I suspect most computers surely have defences against this, it seems Chinese researchers have found a loophole whereby hackers could at least set some smart chargers alight with a ‘BadPower attack’.
Warning – crazy times ahead.