Class Notes 12/17/20



Last class. Hope you enjoyed the ride! 




My Presentation 


The Notion of Choice in the Multiverse 


I believe that the Notion of Choice can affect the Multiverse because of how Science Fiction Media has presented it. 


Rick Potion #9 Best Rick and Marty episode




Can machines teach us empathy?


Wall-E demonstrates how even Machine scan love 


Her demonstrates how technology can solve loneliness and the negative things we keep inside ourselves. 


What’s the different between Science Fiction and Fantasy when connecting to our emotions? 

Science Fiction is more plausible

It’s easier to relate to people like Theodore from Her than Percy Jackson


Science Fiction allows us to sympathize with the odd emotions that are felt through empathy. 


If a computer software, a blue alien, etc, can feel these emotions then so can I. 




Symbiosis and Science Fiction


What can symbiosis in Science Fiction tell us about highly perceived real world relationship 


Symbiosis: 2 or more parties are involved in some living arrangement


Mutualism: Mutual relationship

Commensalism: One benefits, cybernetic enhancements. Can become over reliant 

Parasitism: One takes over the host. The host starts changing. 

Predation: Predator to Prey. 

Competition: Fighting over one resource. Constantly evolving to get the upper hand over one another. 


Most represented Symbiotic relationships are sympathetic for the parasite. 




Human Genetic Modification


Manipulation of the Human genome through a technique known as Gene Editing


Eugenics: does not involve direct gene editing. Choosing between viable eggs


TALEN’s: Uses Enzymes to remove certain gene strands


CRISPR: Finds a specific bit of DNA in a cell and alters it. 


Could help to understand how viruses and diseases work and how to destroy them. 


Genetic modifications could have ethical complications behind them. 


Designer babies 

Permanent mistakes 



There have been cases where the thought of genetic modification needs consent or some sort of proof of ownership of the child. 



Artificial intelligence takeover in Science Fiction 


Artificial Intelligence: Machine intelligence, other than humans. 


AI Takeover: Artificial Intelligence that takes over the planet and destroys the Human Species. 


Utopian Takeover is great and makes a perfect world. Dystopian Takeover kills Humanity. 


Technology is getting to a point where some tech no longer requires human input to create


I, Robot: The Three Laws of Robotics. Had a robot programmed to kill, something he had no control over and directly ignored the Three Laws of Robotics. 


Transformers: Good AI vs Bad AI. 


Robopocalypse: An AI thinking it’s more dominant than Humans and sees itself as a God. 


In 2015 a German worker was killed by a Robot, it shows Human Error. 


Final Course Reflection 


Most people are working through it. 


Final Course Reflection Extended until Midnight of Sunday 12/20


Turn in Student Teacher Evaluation if you haven’t already done so.


Credit/No Credit option is available once again this semester. 


Don’t Email for Grade. They will hopefully be posted before the Holidays. 


Office Hours from 4-5pm today. 


Professor Belli will be teaching two other courses next semester. Similar schedule to Science Fiction Course, Tuesday/Thursday Synchronous. 


Live Long and Prosper! 

Class Notes 12/15/20

Class Notes: 

  • Reminder: 

Do the teacher evaluation before the 18th

There is also a flexible grading policy in place this semester.

Office hours will be at 1:00pm today. 4:00pm appointments aren’t available.



What are the dangers of developing advanced artificial intelligence? 

A story about how an AI that makes paper clips become so powerful it takes over the entire universe in the Riemann- hypothesis catastrophe. 

The issue with narrow domains which have tons of ethical issues. 

In science fiction Wide domains are more common as these respond as humans would. 

The real world implications in areas like AGI and how even in a wide domain ethical problems are magnified. 

The risk of advancing AI in conclusion is the severe ethical consequences of a machine with limited human understanding. The idea that after a while we won’t be able to control that power. 

Philip – 

World building in science fiction and how it affects society ? 

The construction of an imaginary world without any plot holes. 

The impact of world building we have to account for all the possibility of all diversity because we cannot suppress certain topics that society has tried to censor. 

Claim – science fiction can raise awareness for certain issues for a discussion but not to specifically solve those issues. 

Xavier – 

Does hologram tech stay fit in the category of science fiction about the future ? 

Explain how movies affect the real world like biometric holograms and spatial reality displays. 

Why should we care ? It matters to us because of credit cards, medical cat scans and drivers licenses which all have holographic technology. 

The influence of sci-fi will affect us by advancing our technology. 

Khoury – 

How does time and the multiverse correlate with each other ? 

The theory that our universe isn’t the only one and there’s an infinite number of universes. 

The ethics of having choice and how every choice affects every universe. 

Arin Tang – 

Should development of AI continue ? 

Jack Ma’s thoughts on AI saying that it’s not terrible. 

Stating that society is uncertain of what AI stands for in society. 

People are questioning the bus, liability security and many other aspects of what AI affects. 

Oscar – 

How Indigenous science fiction changes the genre ? 

One of the ways that it affects science fiction is indigenous futurism

The Notion of Choice and How it Can Change Universes

Download (PDF, 1.65MB)

Choice is a strong driving factor in any storytelling perspective. The choices of the character at hand could dictate the future of the whole story in general, and Science Fiction stories are no different in this ideal. In any case, Science Fiction may hold a greater focus toward the notion of choice, with topics such as Universe Hopping and Time Travel holding choices that majorly impact not just a character, but an entire universe. It begs the question, in terms of Science Fiction media, Could the Notion of Choice have a greater impact on The Multiverse Theory? 

The Multiverse Theory is an idea often shared amongst the many generations that ponder the existence of something greater than our world. The idea that out there, somewhere farther than Humans could ever possibly imagine viewing or witnessing, is a whole other universe with something different about it. Something that makes it an entirely new experience compared to the normal experience. The differing quality of this other universe could be anything; The Axis Powers winning WWII, The Industrial Revolution failing to kick off, The Spread of the Black Plague becoming worldwide, but the main factor that seals it is the thought that it is the dirtied mirror image of another universe where the opposite choices were picked, and therefore the opposite outcome came to fruition.

The research conducted for this project was in part delving into various pieces of Science Fiction media and articles online relating to the topic of Choice and the Multiverse Theory. Movies such as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse and shows such as Rick and Morty both have great examples of characters that, by making certain choices and dictating their lives through certain actions, cause differing universes to emerge where the opposite choices and the opposite characters are brought to fruition. 

This project aims to focus more on the idea that pieces of media in Science Fiction explore the topic of Choices affecting the Multiverse and how a character may cause the creation of a differing character, or even greater a differing universe, based on their actions or their choices.

Download (PDF, 52KB)

Class notes (12/15/2020)


CUNY has reestablished the Credit/No credit policy

Credit/No Credit Policy FAQ

Max presentation: What are the Dangers of Developing an Advanced Artificial Intelligence?

What are the Dangers of Developing an Advanced Artificial Intelligence?

It’s Clippy!

Paper Clip scenario:

  • Automated Paper Clip factory with Advanced AI gets out of hand.
  • The entire known universe has been turned into paper clips.

Riemann Hypothesis Catastrophe:

  • A scenario that’s unthinkable when considering current human capabilities, but very much a concern when imagining an advanced AI.

An advanced AI is any artificial intelligence that can outperform human capabilities across a wide domain.

Wide Domain versus Narrow Domain

Technology will continue to advance and our reliance on it will only grow. Without safeguards on AI research, there can be severe consequences.


Phillip presentation: World Building in Science Fiction

World Building in Science Fiction

Examples of World Building:

  • Star Wars
  • Harry Potter
  • Star Trek

Star Trek series:

  • First interracial kiss on screen
  • Lt. Data is the first android and artificial intelligence


  • Science fiction can raise awareness or stimulate discussion about certain issues, and not to provide a solution, but to help us feel better about our ability to overcome these issues.


Xavier: Sci-Fi and Holographic Technology

Sci-Fi and Holographic Technology

The motivation was from VR, 3D, and 4D

Examples of holographic technology and Sci-Fi:

  • Star Wars
  • Star Trek
  • Iron Man

Volumetric Display:

  • 3D light image using lasers

Benefits of holograms:

  • Credit cards
  • Driver’s licenses
  • Medical CAT scans
  • Bar codes
  • ETC.

Future Benefits:

  • Improves communication
  • Digital storage capacity increases
  • Medical Improvements
  • More Security
  • ETC.


Khoury presentation: The Multiverse and Time

The Multiverse And Time

The multiverse theory is the idea that the universe we live in is not the only one, and there is an infinite number of universes that may be similar to our own or drastically different.

Parallel timeline theory, there are multiple universes exactly like ours existing at the same time as our own.

Split timelines are an example of daughter universes, every choice you make causes a split resulting in a new timeline.

Split timelines are caused by time travel, going back in time and changing things.

Quantum mechanics is the study of how subatomic particles move.


Oscar presentation: Indigenous Sciencce Fiction changes the genre and why its overlooked

Indigenous Science Fiction changes the genre, and why it’s overlooked

Science Fiction is the creation of literature worlds where our imaginations create worlds.

Science fiction genre has been mostly Eurocentric views. But lately many cultures have arisen to science fiction to its roots which allowed more culture and diversity.

Indigenous Futurism is an extension of Science Fiction, it is the idea of a future where indigenous believes creates/influence the worlds.

Eurocentric views, means that there is a large cast of European ideas or forms of living.

A wave of modern authors are exploring Indigenous cultures as living, vibrant, and firmly fixed in both the modern and future worlds.

Is Artificial Intelligence displayed in Science Fiction a Utopia or Dystopia?

Download (PPTX, 2.52MB)

Download (PDF, 22KB)


This research project focuses on the different scenarios of dystopia and utopian societies for Artificial Intelligence in science fiction and how it relates back to the real world. As our technology in our world is getting more advanced as time goes on, Artificial Intelligence is something that has been discussed in the past decades and will be discussed going forward. There are many films and books in science fiction that display the different ways of how AI’s can be interrogated in our world either it’s for the good or the bad. There have been science fiction books about AI’s dated back in the 50’s, and every decade after that, the idea of AI being part of our world deepens. 

Artificial Intelligence in the scope of science fiction shows how great and fascinating it would be for humans to live in a world with robots and other forms of Artificial Intelligence but science fiction also shows how AI’s can be harmful and a disaster for society. Looking back at these films and books about science fiction, it is important to draw back to the real world and see how both connect. AI has been a form of science fiction and still is but as time goes on, it can be a concern and though weather such things we see in movies like Transformers and Terminator can be our reality.

Issac Asimov’s 3 laws of robotics consist of robots not harming a human being in any way, obey human demands, and not to hurt itself. Asimov embodied these laws in the movie, I, Robot, and other short stories. These laws are used to enable robots to live in utopian society as robots live peacefully with humans but looking at I, Robot, there can be a scenario where a robot doesn’t function the way it is expected to. Even though these 3 laws of robotics symbolizes a robot’s involvement in the society of science fiction, Asimov shows in his stories how the laws can be broken. In the real world, we have laws that we have to follow and not everyone does obey those laws. We see a similar trend with the 3 laws of robotics.