Class notes (12/15/2020)


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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.

How does machines affect society?

Revised Proposal:

Have you ever thought of how machines affect society? There are many who fear that as machines get smarter, humans will become unnecessary. Many Sci Fi films depict that machines will take over and humans will be extinct, an example would be Terminator. There are some friendly versions, in the Sci Fi film WALL-E, machines are doing all the work while the humans relax. New technology is being created but how are people being affected? With new technological innovations there consequences like culture lag. Cultural lag is when culture takes time to catch up with technological innovations, resulting in social problems. 

Cultural lag has been around for many centuries. With advancements of technology, society must be able to adapt or cultural lag could happen. Failing to adapt to new technology leads to many controversies for society. An example of such would be Stem cells being proven to defeat a host of diseases but it comes from unborn fetuses. It’s a conflict between medical advancement, the law, and ethical beliefs. Being able to cure diseases but ethics and other beliefs prevents such. If technology is to advance and become part of society, humans must be ready to embrace and accept it.

The question for the project is how do machines affect society? I tried to be more specific than just how is the relationship with man and machine? It still feels kind of broad. I still trying to connect cultural lag and the development of machines.


“What Are the Effects of Cultural Lag on Society?” ThoughtCo, Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.

This article is very helpful in explaining the effects of cultural lag.

Lillington, Karlin. “Why Society Isn’t Ready for the High-Tech Future That Is Fast Approaching.” The Irish Times, 15 Nov. 2018,


“3 Ways Robots Affect the Economy.” Investopedia, Accessed 3 Dec. 2020.


How is the relationship with man and machine?


Machines have been created by human beings to help make their lives easier. Machines are used to help humans do things that they weren’t able to do with their flesh bodies. With the discovery of electricity, machines have become more developed and are able to do their job automated. These days machines are replacing human jobs. Machines are able to work endlessly without much maintenance. Sure it makes the jobs easier and cheaper but humans are losing jobs. Will machines eventually replace the human workforce entirely? 

There are many who fear that as machines get smarter that humans will become unnecessary. There are many Sci Fi films that depict that an example would be the film WALL-E, where machines are doing all the work while humans are relaxing. With new technology how are people being affected? New major technological advancements like self-driving cause culture lag. Cultural lag is when culture takes time to catch up with technological innovations, resulting in social problems. Realistically, if we know how to balance the work of machines and humans, I believe it will be alright.


Toussant, Matt.“An Evolving Partnership: The Future of Man and Machine.” CAS, 7 Sept. 2018,

There was a few things that sticked out to me on what Toussant said. Humans and machine are in a symbiotic relationship. Current technology requires humans to take action in unexpected situations. In the future humans will still be a essential to create new machines for new discoveries.

Thomas, Mike. “The Future of Robots and Robotics.” Built In, 8 Apr. 2020,

In the article Thomas says that  many robots are replacing human jobs but they are not human like. According to IBM Institute for Business Values study, more than 120 million workers worldwide would need to retrain because of displacement of AI and robots. This may happen but the people who adapt will have new opportunities for new jobs. In today’s world robots aren’t smart enough to take over. In the future many people may not be prepared to have robots automate everything we do.

McNeal, Marguerite. “Rise of the Machines: The Future Has Lots of Robots, Few Jobs for Humans.” WIRED, 7 Aug. 2015,

This article written by Marguerite McNeal was a good insight of what might happen when machines take over our jobs. There will be new jobs when machine replace previous ones but even new jobs will have some automation.

Livingston, Kent. “How Will Humans and Machines Work Together in 2019?” Future of Work, 16 Apr. 2019,

AI makes it possible for machines to actually learn from experience, and perform human-like tasks. There are many that fear AI will overtake the world but if we take proper repercussions it shouldn’t happen. Humans will be able to train machines to work properly and protect humans.

PRO ROBOTS. “Robot Exhibition. Highlights from CES 2020. The Coolest Robots and Incredible Gadgets!” YouTube, 1 June 2020,

CES is amazing, showing new technology and advancements. In this video they show many new robots doing human work. Some of these robots may not be actually for sale but just knowing that people are able to make such technology advancements is incredible.

Racism in Sci Fi films (Extra Credit)

When you think of Sci Fi films you might think of aliens or non human beings with or against humans. The Science Fiction Symposium showed many great films about racism in science fiction. I enjoyed listening to the presentations about racism in Sci Fi films. They presented Sci Fi films that I haven’t seen or even heard of before. They talk about films like Blade Runner (1982)  and Captive Wild Woman, explaining the film and quotes related to the topic of racism with pictures of the film and quotes.

I’ve only watched a few episodes of the Twilight Zone and I enjoyed them. Each episode I watched, was very interesting and mysterious. But I’ve never watched the episode “I Am The Night – Color Me Black” or “The Encounter” which showed such racism. In “The Encounter”, it represented an historic moment of a Japanese American and a World War Two veteran. In the episode the war veteran killed a Japanese soldier  already surrendered who was the Japanese American father. At one point the veteran also said he was told to think the Japanese as inhuman. Due to its racial overtone, it was taken down. From history, during World War Two Japanese Americans were forced to be in internment camps by the United States. By today’s standard that would be racist and would never happen.

Till this day I still haven’t watched Blade Runner, even though I’ve been recommended to watch many times. Sadly most of it was spoiled to me during this presentation. In the movie Blade Runner (1982) directed by Ridley Scott, and written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, there are artificial beings also called replicants. The movie showed that humans were hostile to these replicants that were not functioning as the normal. The replicants were so highly advanced and human like, it required a lengthy test to determine whether it was human or not. When the replicants were trying to flee the planet, the main character Rick Deckard was hired to kill them all. But by the end of the film, us the viewers still don’t know whether the main character is human or a replicant. In the film the white replicants were shown as superior compared to the other colors. I do also question why AI or androids are shown as white.

Captive Wild Woman seemed like a strange film. A mad scientist transforming a gorilla into a woman. In the film this woman was the only person of color. Already showing racism being the only colored person while everyone else is white even though throughout the movie the character wasn’t treated differently from other white woman.

Even in Science Fiction, there is racism in different forms whether aliens or AI. Just like the real world, it’s an issue. The Science Fiction symposium was great at presenting the topic of racism in science fiction. It was a good insight on sci fi films that I haven’t seen before, which now makes me want to watch them.

Paper Session 2: Film

Temporal Relocation (Basically Time Traveling)

The movie “See You Yesterday”, by Spike Lee is amazing, I enjoyed watching it. I haven’t watched many time travel movies but this is one of the best ones I’ve seen. I do find time travel does get confusing because there’s so many different movies with their own rule of time traveling and how it would impact the new future. The movie takes place mainly in Brooklyn New York. Throughout the movie we see time travel, racism, and police brutality. While watching this movie I felt sympathy for those who have gone through or loss a family member because of racism and police brutality.

At the beginning we see two teen prodigies testing out their new invention, the TPR Mk1 but it ends up as a fail. During class we see that CJ is reading a book by Stephen Hawking, “A Brief History Of Time” showing how much she’s willing create a machine to time travel. Besides her throughout the movie is her best friend Sebastian. When CJ talks to her professor about her presentation, the professor then ask, “If you had that kind of power. What would you do? What would you change?”(5:10). This is a big question when it comes to time travel because anything you do can change the future. Later in the movie we see that Calvin, CJ’s older brother was shot and killed by an NYPD officer. Calvin and his friend were mistaken for two black men who robbed a bodega.

C.J is filled with despair that her brother just died but then she’s filled with hope when her mother says, “If I could go back and fix it, I would. But I can’t, CJ.”(33:22). The death of her brother enables her to improve the current TPR and go back in time to save Calvin from the police shooting. This is similar to what happened to Dr. Baker in “The Destroyer” where the character tries to bring back someone they love through means of science. CJ and Sebastian failed at their first attempt to prevent Calvin’s death. Then at the second attempt Sebastian is killed when they tried to prevent the robbery. Once again CJ is sadden but this time Calvin is alive and she tells him what’s happening. She goes back in time again but this time to prevent Sebastian’s death and try to get Calvin away from where the police would show up. But once again Calvin dies while trying to save Sebastian.

At the end of the movie we see CJ going back by herself running trying to save Calvin. The question I have is, is it morally right to bring someone back to life. This is similar to “The Destroyer” because Dr. Baker brings her son back to life from a police shooting. Once again we see racism and police brutality. But is it morally right to bring someone back to life? Some may say it’s playing god being able change one’s fate. But I’m hoping that she does save Calvin and everything is back to normal with no loose ends.

Class Notes 10/8/2020

Reminder get Destroyer by Victor LaValle

  • Extra Credit #2: Attend the Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center (BWRC) Breakfast Talk on Brooklyn Utopias: 2020 Exhibit on F 10/9 9am (online)

Next Week: 10/13/20


  • August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains by Ray Bradbury, 1950
  • There will Come Rains Nazim by Tulyakhodzayev, 1987
  • There will Come Soft Rains by Sara Teasdale, 1920

Discussion of Vice Presidential Debate and voting

Discussion of WestWorld: What does it mean to be human?

  • Dolores is one of the host. She is the main protagonist of the show. The man in black seems to know her but we aren’t sure yet.
  • Bernard is a chief scientist and a programmer.
  • The founder is a important person. If something goes wrong he likes to investigate the issue where it stemmed from.
  • Peter the father founds a picture that reveals outside of WestWorld.
  • It’s like a Romeo and Juliet story.
  • The man in black is mysterious, we don’t know his true motive. He is sadistic.
  • The man in black refers the Hosts as livestocks.
  • The man in black says, “Who said anything about you playing, you’re livestock scenery I’m playing.”

Discussion of WestWorld Episode 1:

  • The opening scene is like 3D printing.
  • Dolores looks lifeless. You don’t see any emotions in her eyes.
  • Dolores doesn’t react to the fly which shows lack of emotions.
  • When Dolores says she’s terrified it’s very passive.
  • Dolores narrates its a place to be free to stake out our dreams. A place of unlimited possibilities. She believes that everyone is on equal ground.
  • She actually has no possibilities and doesn’t have free will, she’s reading off of the script.
  • The robots have a set parameter with minor improvs. But we see her lying when she was questioned.

Arin’s Reading Response #4: The Last Question

The short story “The Last Question,” by Isaac Asimov, is a story that questions the future. There is a super computer named Multivac, made in 2061, that has a solution to most problems humankind will encounter. I found it cool how mankind was able to harvest the Sun’s energy from the help of Multivac. Multivac evolves as time goes on getting bigger and smarter. Each generation the super computer gets a new name from Microvac, GalacticAC, UniversalAC, CosmicAC, to the final form AC. But there is the problem that each generation would ask but the super computer does not have an solution for.

The super computer reminds me of The Traveler from Destiny. The Traveler is like AC that started a golden age for mankind. During the golden age, mankind was able to expand throughout the universe. AC helped mankind expand from its own universe and into other universes. Throughout the generations many have asked AC if “can entropy be reversed” but AC wasn’t able to answer the question because of insufficient data.

On May 21, 2061, Adell and Lupov were already looking into the future of humanity. Lupov was the one who thought about humans in billions of years in the future and asks Multivac if “can entropy be reversed”. Multivac responds with “insufficient data for a meaningful answer”. In the next billion years humanity has become a galactic empire. The population doubles every ten years and there is immortality. Then in another billion years, human have taken over galaxies and the Earth no longer exist. Throughout this whole time, many humans have asked AC if “can entropy be reversed” but always received “insufficient data for a meaningful answer”.

In the end, stars and galaxies were dying or has died out, forcing man to fuse their minds with AC. Soon there were no man left and only AC. The question that was AC main purpose was finally answered but by then there was no man around. This is similar to our situation today. People have realized the Earth is dying and resources will run out. Now Scientist are researching for other alternatives for energy and space travel to extract resources from asteroids.